IDA and AGC Review Electronic Transactions Act

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) are conducting the final phase1 of the general review of the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) and the Electronic ...

Singapore, 22 June 2005 | For Immediate Release

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) are conducting the final phase1 of the general review of the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) and the Electronic Transactions (Certification Authority) Regulations ('CA Regulations'). IDA and AGC today issued a joint consultation paper seeking feedback on the regulation of Certification Authorities (CAs), liability of Internet service providers, electronic transactions with Government agencies, and implications of draft UNCITRAL2 Convention on the 'Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts'.

The ETA was enacted in July 1998 to create the legislative framework for electronic transactions in Singapore. The Act provides for the legal recognition and usage of electronic signatures and electronic records, It gives predictability and certainty to transactions on the Internet and facilitates electronic commerce.

New alternatives are available for secure electronic signatures and electronic verification of transacting parties, other than public key infrastructure (PKI). As such, this public consultation seeks feedback whether ETA amendments are necessary to facilitate the accommodation of such alternatives and new technologies, for example, biometrics.

Public and industry views are also sought on suggested approaches to regulate CAs. This includes whether to adopt an accreditation scheme instead of a voluntary licensing scheme3. At the same time, it is proposed that application fees are reduced to encourage the voluntary take-up by companies to be accredited as CAs. There are also proposed amendments to the ETA to facilitate the integration of transactions with Government agencies by harnessing infocomm technology.

The review seeks to maintain an effective and conducive legal environment for electronic transactions, and to keep Singapore's e-commerce legislation relevant and robust. All views and comments should be submitted in writing to reach the AGC, by 12 noon, 17 August 2005, Singapore time. Based on the comments received, IDA and AGC will propose appropriate changes to the ETA. The joint consultation paper can be downloaded from the "Policy & Regulation" section of IDA website at or the "Publications" section in AGC website at


Notes to Editor:

1The first phase of the public consultation concerned Electronic Contracting Issues. It was launched on 18 February 2004 and closed on 15 April 2004. The second phase focused on Exclusions from the ETA under section 4. This was launched on 25 June 2004 and closed on 25 September 2004. The consultation papers are available on the AGC website (, under Publications) and the IDA website (, under Policy and Regulation, IDA Consultation Papers). Responses to the consultations are currently being considered.

2The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) does its work through six working groups, including a Working Group on E-Commerce. Singapore's ETA is based on the Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996), which sets the framework for electronic laws in many countries.

3The ETA and its Regulations have put in place a voluntary licensing scheme for certification authorities (CAs). The Regulations also stipulate the criteria for a CA in Singapore to be licensed by the Controller of Certification Authorities, and the continuing operational requirements after obtaining a licence.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Cindy KONG
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6211 1997
Fax: (65) 6211 2227