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Can The Functions Of A Paper Bill Of Lading Be Replicated By Electronic Bill Of Lading

The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)
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The replication of the functions of paper bill of lading by the electronic bill of lading has generated series of controversy among shippers and carriers from high tech states and low tech states. Due to the nature of the traditional functions of paper bill of lading being capable of recognised as receipt for goods, evidence of contract of carriage and documents of title, proponent of the paper bill have questioned the capability of the electronic bill to actually replicate these functions. Modern means of replicating the paper bill are in operation in advanced states. Such electronic data base system like Bolero, The @ Global Trade, APL have all attempted to replicate the paper bill of lading, though, with some defects which borders on security concerns associated with electronic data message coupled with the evidentiary value of such data messages in different jurisdictions. Furthermore the problems of negotiability and meeting the writing requirements of the paper bill by the electronic bill has been a major source of concern considering the deep rooted conservative attitude of traders. Various arguments and defects of the paper and electronic bill of lading will be examined critically with the objective of finding practical and viable option which is faster and convenient in transacting international business for shippers and carriers. Keywords: bill of lading, electronic bill, contract of carriage

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