Thursday, February 9, 2023
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South Korea adopts cross-border paperless trade agreement 

The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, a UN treaty deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, aims at accelerating the implementation of digital trade facilitation measures for trade and development.

Designed as an inclusive instrument accessible to countries at all levels of development to develop their capacity to engage in cross-border paperless trade, the final treaty text was adopted by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in May 2016.

Trade cost reductions expected from the full implementation of cross-border paperless trade are estimated at 10-30% of existing transaction costs, depending on the current state of paperless trade development in the participating countries.

Significant benefits in terms of trade compliance are also expected.

The above Agreement which was adopted on 19th May 2016 by resolution 72/4 during the 72nd session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) is open for signature by States that are members of the UNESCAP.

South Korea adopts cross-border paperless trade agreement 

On the 28th of November 2022, the Republic of Korea deposited the instrument of accession to the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, becoming its 9th Member State.

The accession represents a strong signal of the commitment of the Republic of Korea to paperless trade based on modern legal and technical standards. It will give also an opportunity to share the Korean experience and expertise with developing countries.

UNCITRAL has contributed to the preparation of the Framework Agreement and to developing together with UN/ESCAP and other IGOs, a number of diagnostic tools that may assist countries in strengthening their legal framework for paperless trade.

Countries that have ratified, accepted, approved, and given accession to this framework is as below and the latest list can be accessed here.

Participant Signature Ratification, Acceptance(A), Approval(AA), Accession(a)
Armenia 22 Sep 2017
Azerbaijan  2 Mar 2018 a
Bangladesh 29 Aug 2017 13 Oct 2020
Cambodia 29 Aug 2017
China 29 Aug 2017 22 Nov 2020 AA
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 29 Sep 2017 29 May 2020
Mongolia 27 Jul 2022 a
Philippines 23 Dec 2019 a
Republic of Korea 28 Nov 2022 a
Timor-Leste  5 Apr 2022 a
Turkmenistan  4 May 2022 a

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