The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Qatar has kicked off its Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation (CTF) during the ‘Mapping the Course for UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) Implementation in Qatar’ event held recently.
The event, which was held in collaboration with CQUR Bank, set the stage for one of the key notable topics that will be initiated within the ICC Qatar’s Commission on CTF, to be further explored and addressed. ICC Qatar is welcoming members to the commission to launch and activate the commission by the first quarter of 2024.
It was announced during the event that Hussam al-Kokhon, head of Trade Finance at CQUR Bank, was appointed as chair of the commission. ICC Qatar is forming the steering committee, ensuring a balanced and gender-equal by filling the vice chair/s role and members of the commission.
The Commission on CTF is a specialised working body composed of business experts who examine major issues of interest to the business world. They prepare policy products, including statements to contribute to governmental discussions, as well as rules and codes to facilitate international business transactions.
The commission’s mission is to advocate for streamlined customs and transportation policies and procedures, along with other practical measures, to enhance global trade and foster an efficient and competitive transportation market.
The event brought together national and international speakers to address the various processes and frameworks that underpin digital trade, essential for promoting inclusive and responsible trade.
The event witnessed over 110 registrants from an array of industries, members of the private sector and public sector, including representatives from the Ministry of Transport, lawyers, logistics and freight forwarding service providers, transport service suppliers, banks, and technology solution providers, among others.
This is a positive and encouraging trend indicating a keen interest in embracing digitised trade processes and accessing different mediums, such as the new national commission, as an advocacy tool.
Luca Castellani, legal officer at the Secretariat of UNCITRAL noted, “The interest of the private sector for promoting consideration of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records in Qatar is welcome and remarkable. It is not a surprise that ICC Qatar would coordinate that effort, given the significant role that the ICC Digital Standards Initiative is playing in MLETR promotion worldwide.
“Qatar has already adopted UNCITRAL texts on electronic transactions, which makes the adoption of MLETR, if so wished, an easier legislative task. Qatar has therefore an opportunity to join the increasing number of countries that rely on MLETR for state-of-the-art futureproof digital trade.”
Professor Nisreen Mahasneh, professor in Private Law, College of Law at Qatar University, said: “Adopting the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records 2017 is a complementary step to expand legal electronic dealings in Qatar. The rules of the Qatari Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law 2010 are not alone adequate to implement electronic transferable records in Qatar, these rules need to be supported by the rules of the UNICITRAL Model Law 2017.”
She added: “The UNICITRAL Model Law 2017 does not replace the local laws, it only offers functional equivalent requirements when the transferable record is issued in electronic form.”
An ICC Qatar spokesperson said: “The launch of the commission will generate many more events. This initiative aligns with ICC Qatar’s commitment to promoting efficient trade facilitation and ensuring compliance with international standards. It reflects our dedication to creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in Qatar and beyond.
“We listened to the private sector, which motivated the launch of the Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation. Now, we encourage the private sector to utilize the platform to advocate for matters of interest and participate in the work to enforce convenient trade practices under one voice.”
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