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CommerceNet, Mitsubishi Standardize Documents for International E-Trade

Mitsubishi Corp. and e-commerce association CommerceNet announced the availability of standardized documents that support international cross-certification for digitally signed trade transactions.

The documents, which include operational rules, technical specifications, and a model electronic commerce trade agreement for international trading partners, were developed by Mitsubishi and CommerceNet as part of an international cross-certification pilot between JapanNet's Certification Authority (CA) and CommerceNet's CA.

"Cross-certification will be an important component of global e-commerce," said Jim Galvin, CommerceNet's director of electronic commerce technologies. "It's unlikely that a CA in one country will issue multi-purpose certificates to individuals in another country, principally for legal reasons; we must be able to work with each others' certificates."

During the pilot, JapanNet and CommerceNet provided independent CA services for their clients--Mitsubishi and a U.S. trading partner--respectively. CommerceNet operated its own root CA and issued certificates on behalf of the unidentified U.S. trading partner while JapanNet also operated its own root CA and issued certificates on behalf of Mitsubishi. JapanNet and CommerceNet cross-certified their root CAs by issuing cross-certificate credentials to each other which the clients then used to validate their transactions.

"These standards, developed in cooperation with the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of Japan (ECOM), provide crucial and practical information for transitioning international trade in electronic transactions," said Hideo Nakanishi, chairman of ECOM's steering committee. "We hope these documents will contribute to the expansion of international electronic commerce by cross-certification."