For information only - not an official document
16 January 2015
Madagascar Adopts Electronic Transactions and Electronic Signature Law Based on UNCITRAL Texts
VIENNA, 16 January (UN Information Service) - With the entry into force of the "Law N° 2014-024 on Electronic Transactions" and of the "Law N° 2014-025 on Electronic Signature", Madagascar has enacted the Model Law on Electronic Commerce of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), its Model Law on Electronic Signatures as well as some substantive provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.
The UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce ("MLEC"), first adopted in 1996, enables commerce conducted using electronic means by providing national legislators with a set of internationally acceptable rules aimed at removing legal obstacles and increasing legal predictability for electronic commerce. In particular, it is intended to overcome obstacles arising from statutory provisions that may not be varied contractually by providing equal treatment to paper-based and electronic information. Such equal treatment is essential for enabling the use of paperless communication, thus fostering efficiency in international trade. The MLEC has already been adopted by more than 60 States. The UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures ("MLES"), concluded in 2001, facilitates the use of electronic signatures by establishing criteria of technical reliability for the equivalence between electronic and hand-written signatures. Thus, it can assist States in establishing a modern, harmonized and fair legislative framework to address effectively the legal treatment of electronic signatures and give certainty to their status. The MLES is in force in some 30 States.
The domestic enactment of these two model laws, and of the substantive provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts that are meant to complement and update the model laws, provides Madagascar with modern uniform legislation in the field of electronic transactions.
The "Law N° 2014-024 on Electronic Transactions" and the "Law N° 2014-025 on Electronic Signature" were drafted in the context of a joint initiative between the Government of Madagascar, , in particular, its Ministry of Justice, the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action of the French Embassy in Madagascar, and the Secretariat of UNCITRAL, aimed at modernizing the law of international sale of goods and of electronic transactions in that country. In the context of the same exercise, Madagascar has become a party to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). The CISG will enter into force for Madagascar on 1 October 2015. Madagascar has also signed, but not yet ratified, the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria.
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