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Debunking Legal Jargon for Trade & Export Finance and Related Regulation

Posted by Matilda Johnson on Feb 20, 2024 11:43:15 AM

Written by Matilda Johnson and Jacqueline Cook

In this blog, we take a look at some new jargon and key terms that you might come across in your transactions or industry discussions in the coming months.

Trade & Export Finance

Uniform Rules for Transferable Electronic Payment Obligations (URTEPO)

URTEPO is published by the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) and aims to provide the trade and forfaiting industry with a robust framework within which to operate with confidence and enable the modernisation of the traditional forfaiting market. URTEPO allows for the payment obligation in question to be created by any means possible, so long as it is digital and transferable. The rules are compatible with the principles behind new legislation in this area, including the UK’s Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023 (ETDA).

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Topics: Trade Finance

Gates Opening for the Digitalisation of Trade Documents

Posted by Natalie Lake on Oct 21, 2022 11:30:33 AM

On 12 October 2022, The Electronic Trade Documents Bill was introduced into Parliament.

It is a watershed moment in English law, but no-one has anticipated it more than those working in international trade. The (sometimes painful) process of trying to get trade documents from location A to B has been the source of frustration for many, exacerbated by the many lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have advocated heavily for digitalisation of trade have been faced with one overriding problem: the inability to possess an electronic trade document under English law.

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Topics: Trade Finance, Digitalisation

Financing Receivables – Structures and Issues

Posted by Amanda Montano on Apr 12, 2021 9:54:44 AM

By Amanda Montano, Associate and Andrew Thompson, Trainee

At the latest Trade & Export Finance webinar, partners Geoffrey Wynne and Sam Fowler-Holmes delved into the topic of receivables financing. Given the manner in which COVID-19 has impacted businesses’ cash flow and supply chains, financing receivables has, perhaps unsurprisingly, accelerated over the past year. With the recent fallout of Greensill, the ideal opportunity arose to discuss the nature of receivables finance, the challenges facing the industry and key factors in mitigating risks and achieving the benefits the industry has to offer.

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Topics: Trade Finance, Receivables Financing

Meeting the Challenges Covid-19 Poses for Trade Finance Transactions: Key Issues to Consider When Making Amendments and Waivers

Posted by Sam Fowler-Holmes on Sep 2, 2020 9:59:50 AM

This article is the second in a series looking at how to address some of the issues affecting trade finance documentation and transactions in the current climate.

The first article in this series analysed some of the issues that parties to a trade finance transaction should be aware of when considering amendments and waivers to their written contracts. This article continues to explore the issues that arise in connection with amendments and waivers, focusing first on the common question of how best to document an agreed amendment or waiver to an English law contract, and then considering how amendments or waivers to one contract can potentially (and possibly detrimentally) impact a party’s rights under a connected contract, and finally how to take steps to avoid or mitigate such impact.

How should I document an amendment or waiver in a trade finance transaction?

The starting point is always to consider any requirements set out in the relevant contract. Even if a contract is silent as to how it should be amended or waived, it is advisable to make any amendment or waiver in writing as, if well drafted, doing so helps to mitigate any later dispute about the intended scope or effect of the amendment or waiver.

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Topics: Trade Finance, COVID-19

Meeting the Challenges COVID-19 Poses for Trade Finance Transactions: Amendments and Waivers

Posted by Sam Fowler-Holmes on Jun 17, 2020 12:14:31 PM

This alert is the first in a series addressing the issues affecting trade finance documentation and transactions in the current climate.

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Topics: Trade Finance, COVID-19

Sullivan Monthly Breakfast Seminar, January 2019 — Trade, Export and Project Finance Compliance Refresher

Posted by Amanda Montano on Feb 6, 2019 9:31:02 AM

by Amanda Montano and Judith Abanto

Kicking off the monthly Breakfast Seminar series for 2019, Sullivan’s London partner Mark Norris gave a presentation on the key compliance risks faced by trade and project finance practitioners.

Putting the need for compliance in context, he reported that the World Bank and the OECD estimate that bribery, tax evasion and corruption are responsible for revenue losses in the billions, particularly in poorer economies.

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Topics: Trade Finance, R v Skansen Interiors Ltd, Bribery Act 2010, Criminal Finances Act 2017

2019 BAFT Europe Bank to Bank Forum

Posted by Hannah Fearn on Feb 5, 2019 10:32:44 AM

By Hannah Fearn

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2019 BAFT Europe Bank to Bank Forum in London. The well-attended event included many highly informative panel talks covering a range of topics, but with a particular focus on the future of trade finance.

Highlights included a discussion on the challenges facing the digitisation of trade (including legal and regulatory hurdles) and insights into how banks manage liquidity in the era of instant payments. BAFT took advantage of technology to make the sessions as interactive as possible, with delegates able to use their phones to participate in live polls and Q&As.

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Topics: Brexit, Trade Finance, BAFT, international trade

Trade Finance — 'Documenting to Improve Regulatory Compliance'

Posted by Geoff Wynne on Oct 2, 2018 9:50:57 AM

I recently authored the article "Documenting to Improve Regulatory Compliance," published by Trade Finance.

In the article I look at how, in a world of ever increasing regulation, there might be some areas in trade finance documentation where parties can show they are addressing concerns and taking steps to protect their position against a review by Regulators of what they are doing. The article looks at the position under English law and in light of current and future UK regulations.

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Topics: Trade Finance

Sullivan Monthly Breakfast Seminar - the low down on BAFT MPA

Posted by Amanda Montano on Sep 28, 2018 11:44:37 AM

By Amanda Montano, Sullivan Associate and Fiona Luong, Sullivan Trainee

Having been instructed by BAFT to prepare the revised Master Participation Agreement, Sullivan’s London Trade Finance team gave a presentation on ‘All you need to know about the BAFT MPA’ at the firm’s September Seminar.

Attended by an audience of more than 100 financial institutions and participants in the trade finance market, Geoff Wynne and Hannah Fearn talked about the key changes and implications of the new MPA.

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Topics: Trade Finance, Master Participation Agreement, BAFT, English Law

Cape Town Calling

Posted by Geoff Wynne on Sep 18, 2018 11:48:45 AM

From Tuesday 4th to Thursday 6th September 2018, ITFA, the International Trade and Forfaiting Association, a worldwide trade association for companies, financial institutions insurers and intermediaries engaged in trade and forfaiting, hosted its 45th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference in Cape Town.

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Topics: Trade Finance, BAFT, ITFA

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About the Blog

Talking Trade Finance is here to provide you with all of the latest updates in the Trade & Export Finance Industry.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

Meet the Editor


Ellis Lawson is a partner in the Trade & Export Finance Group in Sullivan's London office. He has extensive experience across a wide range of finance products and geographies, having spent significant portions of his career based both in London and in the Middle East and having advised on transactions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ellis is also a speaker for Sullivan's Trade & Export Finance webinars.


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