Rotterdam Rules: A Practical Annotation
Electronic Transport Records
Article 8. Use and effect of electronic transport records
Electronic bills of lading under current English law. English statute law does not currently make any provision for the use of electronic transport documents in international trade. This does not mean that carriers do not or cannot use such records and subject their use to the English law of carriage of goods by sea as it applies to paper transport documents mutatis mutandis: there is nothing in English law actually prohibiting the use of electronic transport records. It simply means that COGSA 1971 does not actively accommodate electronic transport records; and that COGSA 1992 provides a power to extend by regulation the application of that Act, with or without modification, to electronic communications networks.1 No such regulations have been made to date: consequently, the Rotterdam Rules would represent the first statutory structure for electronic transport records in English law.