Key international commercial law implications

18 January 2023

The impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related response measures have resulted in significant operational disruptions and delays across global networks, with important implications for the performance of international commercial contracts.

Much of global commodities' trade is conducted on international sale of goods on shipment terms, notably cost, insurance and freight (CIF) and free on board (FOB). Contractual devices for commercial risk allocation and loss prevention can play an important role in addressing the commercial law implications of the pandemic and reduce the need for costly litigation.

16 May 2022

With a view to increase awareness of Government officials and transport operators in Asia and the Pacific region on the ways of addressing some of the key legal implications of COVID-19 for commercial contracts covering transport of goods and to assist shippers and consignees, particularly in developing countries in addressing some of the key commercial law implications of the COVID-19 crisis, the UNESCAP secretariat conducted research and preliminary analysis of the challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis affecting international commercial contracts, including contracts on international  carriage of goods by various modes of transport, focusing particularly on land and multimodal transport.

The "Transport and trade connectivity in the age of pandemics: Contactless, seamless and collaborative UN solutions" project responds to a call to action, for the immediate health response required to suppress transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to end the pandemic; and to tackle the many social and economic dimensions of this crisis, made in the United Nations (UN) SDG report on "Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19", published in March 2020.

15 February 2022

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was declared by the WHO on 11 March 2020, and in response to the emergence of new variants, countries have imposed, eased and re-imposed various restrictions on daily life, including for the entry and exit in ports. This has resulted in disruption and delay, with implications for the performance of commercial contracts for the carriage of goods.

This report has been prepared to assist commercial parties to better understand the relevant implications and to consider potential approaches to addressing some of these. It examines some of the key legal issues arising from the pandemic as they affect contracts for the carriage of goods by sea, as well as time charterparties, and multimodal contracts of carriage that (may) involve carriage by sea.

05 March 2021

The ability to trade globally, through a seamless logistic network, moving goods across international boundaries, integrating engineering and technology from different parts of the world has been a fundamental element of the globalized trading system. Raw commodities travelling from one part of the world to be converted into plastic or metal components only to be shipped again to be manufactured and then again for assembling and distribution is something which traders and consumers alike take for granted.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has and still is interfering heavily with international trade, creating inefficiencies, delays and supply-chain disruptions on an unprecedented scale.

05 March 2021

The smooth flow of international trade depends entirely on the transport chain: adequate and timely supplies to manufacturers and efficient capillary distribution chains are essential ingredients of any successful business model.

The recent and ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, together with the measures many countries are adopting to bring the pandemic under control, are creating significant impediments to transport systems and supply chains which are facing unprecedented challenges on a global scale.

This challenge hits the global trading system at a juncture in which efficiency is imperative and movement of goods and provision of services on a “just-in-time” basis are the cornerstones of success for public and private service providers alike.