Committee Chairman Linards Mucins said that the body could decide on drafting the amendment this summer. He couldn't say whether the present Parliament would be able to vote on the draft before elections in October.
In any event, Mucins said the amendments on commercial transactions would come into force no earlier than January 1, 2003.
Aigars Strupiss of the commercial law working group says the amendment is needed because presently commercial transactions are regulated by Chapter 4 of the Civil Code, which concerns contracts. "When the Civil Code was drafted, it was clear that it would only partly regulate private contracts," he said. "The amendment on commercial transactions will cover purchase and sale and other specifically commercial contracts."
He explained that the amendment on commercial tranactions would regulate purchase and sale, delivery, commissions, and contracts for the transport and storage of goods. The law will also deal with such issues as precontractual agreements and letters of intent.
Strupiss said that the intent of the amendment was to speed up commercial transactions and reduce formalities and bureaucracy, such as the requirement that contracts be in writing, something that has hindered transactions with partners abroad. Under the amendment, a contract will be considered as being in writing if conveyed by fax, telex, e-mail or other electronic means.
Edgars Livmanis of the Foreign Investors' Council said amending the commercial law was necessary. He said that the council was ready to make proposals for improving the draft amendment on commercial transactions.