As teleworking has become increasingly prevalent in recent times, there has been a surge in technology deployment across all forms of communicating and transacting, and the electronic contract is a key example of this. In this guide, we seek to examine some frequently asked questions surrounding electronic contracts and signatures in Singapore, and what is to be expected in terms of future developments.
- In 1998, Singapore was the first country to adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce by way of the Electronic Transactions Act (Cap. 88) (ETA). Some seven years later, the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and superseded the earlier UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce. Following the adoption of the UN Convention, the then-Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, together with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, conducted a review of the 1998 ETA, culminating in the 2010 ETA.
- On June 27, 2019, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), together with 14 government ministries and agencies (including the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, Ministry of Finance, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Singapore Land Authority) and in consultation with industry stakeholders, issued a public consultation to seek comments on further proposed revisions to the ETA. The objective of the review is to enhance Singapore’s position as an electronic transactions hub, and to address the demands of a fast-evolving digital economy and new technologies. It arose following a United Nations General Assembly resolution recommending that UN member states consider adopting the UNICITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records.
- IMDA is in the process of reviewing and considering the responses that have been received to its consultation.