Legal Databank for Foreign Trade

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LEGAL DATABANK FOR FOREIGN TRADE

A new legal database set up by ITC can provide information on foreign trade laws and regulations of interest to exporters in developing countries.

Knowing the laws and regulations applicable in foreign markets is often an obstacle for small and medium-size exporters with limited staff and financial resources, given the diversity and volume of such legal material. To provide information of this type to the business community in developing countries, ITC has started a new service called "Juris." Juris is based on a computerized databank that covers foreign trade legislation and other legal measures in developed as well as developing countries. Its focus on the European market is of particular interest in the light of developments concerning the unified market of the European Community at the end of 1992. The new service should be a useful tool for export managers and trade promotion officials requiring specific legal information on selected import markets.

Information available

The new database contains abstracts from legal documents, trade laws, trade regulations, commercial treaties and articles on legal topics. References to the original sources are provided for all information items for follow-up purposes. In the near future information on jurisprudence, consisting of decisions on international commercial law cases, will be covered as well.

The legal texts in the database relate primarily to European markets and to developing countries that have provided information for the new service:

1. In the case of European markets, Juris is a tool through which specific legal databases of the European Community (EC) can be consulted. It also includes abstracts of some EC legislative acts affecting international trade, legislative and regulatory instruments adopted by members of the Community to comply with EC legislation, trade legislation and regulations adopted by members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and trade laws and regulations of EFTA countries. (Laws and regulations concerning East European markets are planned to the added later.) Also contained in the database are some short descriptions of international conventions and treaties to which European states adhere.

2. Information on the individual developing countries includes legislation on foreign investment, foreign exchange regulations, company law, legislation on commercial representation, tax law, regulations on dispute settlement and commercial treaties.

Sources of the Data

Information in the Juris service on the European market is obtained through existing legal databases and also new databases being set up in ITC on the basis of primary documentation. …