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    UNIS/L/184
    24 May 2013

    San Marino Adopts Electronic Commerce Law Based on UNCITRAL Texts

    Another Milestone in Creating a Business-Friendly Legal Environment in the Landlocked State

    VIENNA, 24 May (UN Information Service) - With the passage through Parliament of the "Law on the Use of Electronic Communications and on Electronic Commerce", San Marino has enacted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, the UNCITRAL 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 some 50 States. The updated and detailed status of the MLEC is available on the UNCITRAL website.

    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 more than 20 states. The updated and detailed status of the MLES is available on the UNCITRAL website.

    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 San Marino with modern uniform legislation in the field of electronic transactions.

    The "Law on the Use of Electronic Communications and on Electronic Commerce" was drafted in the context of a joint initiative between the Government of San Marino and the UNCITRAL Secretariat aimed at modernizing the law of international sale of goods and of electronic transactions in that country. In particular, trade law reform has been identified as a useful step to pursue closer integration of San Marino in the global economy. Moreover, the development of electronic commerce is deemed particularly relevant to foster economic development in light of the landlocked nature and the small size of the country. In the context of the same exercise, San Marino has become a party to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). The CISG entered into force in San Marino on 1 March 2013.

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    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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    For information contact:

    Timothy Lemay
    Principal Legal Officer
    UNCITRAL Secretariat
    Email: timothy.lemay[at]uncitral.org