BIFAlink June 2022



English law does not currently recognise ‘possession’ of electronic documents and, therefore, does not recognise an e-bill as a document of title. However, the England and Wales Law Commission has released its consultation into global electronic documents. The consultation also includes proposals to allow for such documents to be recognised under English law as tangible assets capable of possession and therefore, by extension, to recognise e-bills as valid documents of title. The Law Commission’s proposed criteria for an electronic document to be considered capable of being ‘possessed’ under English law, is as follows: 1. It exists independently of both persons and the legal system – in other words, it is not a bare legal right; 2. It is capable of exclusive control by only one person at any one time; 3. It is fully divested on transfer, such that the transferor can no longer control the document. Possession The Law Commission also considered what constitutes possession and transfer of possession. It was determined that whoever has control over the electronic trade document is deemed to be in possession of it. Therefore, transfer of possession occurs when the transferee gains control over the electronic trade document. The Law Commission invited stakeholders to respond and its project is currently at the policy development stage. Overall, it is estimated that the use of e-bills will save the industry billions of US dollars per year and is welcomed by many. Faster transactions will reduce the risk of extra freight charges, which will benefit cargo interests. Shippers will also benefit, as the quicker a customer receives its cargo the quicker it will pay. The reduction in fraud will also benefit all parties within the transactional chain. The formation of the FIT Alliance will no doubt be central in pushing the matter forward both globally and at the local level. BIFA would like to thank Hill Dickinson for allowing the reproduction of its original article in BIFAlink. 1 Digital Container Shipping Association 2 International Chamber of Commerce 3 Baltic and International Maritime Council 4 International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations 5 Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication

Freight and Customs training still proving extremely popular

Book your training now as courses are in high demand

With a relentless appetite for Customs training and a steady flow of new apprenticeship starts, our freight and Customs training courses are now booked-up months in advance. Carl Hobbis, executive director with responsibility for training, explained: “Our training has built up a reputation for being relevant for the day-to-day knowledge needed and the feedback we receive from our sessions is incredibly positive. “It is particularly encouraging to see the number of apprentices starting in the industry pick up after the huge effect the pandemic had on youth employment. “The apprenticeship training providers tend to book their learners well in advance, so they get in first, as it is part of a wider programme. So, my message to Members is not to leave it too late.” “We are putting on more face-to-face courses in Heathrow, Manchester and the Midlands, with feedback confirming that learners get so much more out of this method. However, the

more demand, as we want to see our Members employ more young people through the apprenticeship pathway. “With this extra resource, we have just added extra dates for Q3 & Q4, but if you have enough employees we could even come to your premises as well.”

For course information scan the QR code or for apprenticeships contact Carl Hobbis at

convenience of remote learning is still a draw for employers and is how most of our training will be delivered this year.” He added: “We have also invested in an extra trainer; Lisa Rose joined us in January, to cope with the increase and what we hope is even

June 2022


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