UK gov't introduces bill to digitize trade documents — Potentially traced using blockchain


The measure was introduced by the Lord Privy Seal of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, and ironically, it was "ordered to be printed" after the first reading on October 12.


To increase the likelihood of adopting blockchain technology to trace records, members of the UK House of Lords have proposed legislation to do away with the necessity for paper trade documentation.


The Electronic Trade Documents Bill was tabled in Parliament, according to a statement made on October 12 by MP Michelle Donel and the U.K. Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. Making digital documentation legally recognized for trade was the legislation's suggested solution to eliminating "needless paperwork and bureaucracy."


According to the government, which used the World Economic Forum as a source, "Electronic trade documents can boost security and compliance by making it simpler to trace records, for example, through the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology."


"International trade still heavily relies on a particular class of trade document that must be physically held by one person and transferred to another person."


Donelan and the digital department claim that the bill will speed up processing and reduce carbon emissions associated with paperwork by at least 10%. The U.K. produces about 28.5 billion paper trade documents every day. If passed, the law will permit companies to send electronic copies of papers such as delivery orders from ships, warehouse receipts, cargo insurance certificates, and promissory notes.


The measure was introduced by the Lord Privy Seal of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom; ironically, after the first reading, it was "ordered to be printed."


Following a now-scrapped tax cut proposal that caused the value of the British pound to plunge, the U.K. government's economic prospects under Prime Minister Liz Truss appear dubious. Prior to Queen Elizabeth II's passing, the prime minister, who took office in September, stated that the U.K. "should welcome cryptocurrencies in a way that doesn't impede their potential."