The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released guidance to the trade finance market to address COVID-19 disruptions, urging governments and central banks to void any legal prohibitions on the use of electronic trade documentation.
Responding to the urgent need to address the disruptions facing the trade finance market as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, ICC has provided guidance to the market, governments and regulators through official publications: the ICC memo to government and central banks on essential steps to safeguard trade finance operations, along with the guidance paper on the impact of COVID-19 on trade finance transactions issue subject to ICC rules.
“With many banks unable to handle trade finance paper documents in person due to COVID-19, there is a growing risk that the underlying trade in goods could be disrupted,” says Olivier Paul, Director, Finance for Development at the ICC. “ICC and its members are taking unprecedented steps to limit potential disruption to the processing of trade finance transactions – yet, with the use of electronic trade documents in many jurisdictions either prohibited, or their legal status unclear, urgent government intervention is also required.”
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