Singapore has passed the Electronics Transactions (Amendment) Act, 2021 on 25th Feb, 2021 and it shall come into operation on 19th March, 2021, as notified. The Act amends the Electronic Transactions Act, 1998.

The key features of the amendment are:

  • The Act adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on 13 July 2017, allowing for the use of electronic and digital versions of Transferable Instruments and reducing the reliance on and necessity of physical hard copies.
  • an electronic transferable record is not to be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it is in the form of an electronic record.
  • a Transferable Instrument in the form of an ETR will be legally recognized, if the relevant electronic record contains requisite information and there is a reliable method used to:
    1. Identify the electronic record as the authoritative electronic record constituting the same;
    2. Render the electronic record able to be subject to control from its creation until it ceases to have effect or validity; and
    3. Retain the integrity of the electronic record (i.e., the information contained in the record must remain complete and unaltered, other than changes in the normal course of communication, storage or display, which will not be regarded as affecting the integrity of the record).
  • any legal requirement for the indorsement of a Transferable Instrument can be met by an ETR, if information required for the indorsement is included in the ETR in a reliable manner that is accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference, and meets the requirements in relation to electronic signatures.
  • An ETR may replace a transferable document or instrument if a reliable method for the change of medium when the following requirements are met:
    1. all the information contained in the transferable document or instrument must be accurately reproduced in the ETR;
    2. a statement indicating a change of medium must be inserted in the electronic transferable record that replaces the transferable document or instrument.
    3. The reliable method mentioned above must be as reliable as appropriate for the fulfillment of the function for which the method is being used, in the light of all the relevant circumstances, which may include —
    4. any operational rules that are relevant to the assessment of reliability;
    5. the assurance of data integrity;
    6. the ability to prevent unauthorised access to and use of the system;
    7. the security of hardware and software;
    8. the regularity and extent of audit by an independent body;
    9. the existence of a declaration by a supervisory body, an accreditation body or a voluntary scheme, regarding the reliability of the method; or
    10. any applicable industry standard; or
    11. proven in fact to have fulfilled the function by itself or together with any further evidence.
  • An electronic transferable record is not to be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it was issued or used outside Singapore.


*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

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