WTO and e-com
- December 26, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
WTO and e-com
Subject :International Organisation
India seeks comments from WTO members on consumer protection in e-commerce such as countering fakes and counterfeits, data protection, management of returns and dispute resolution, and the role the WTO can play in the area.
WTO and e-com:
- When e-commerce was still at a nascent stage, in September 1998, the work programme on e-commerce was adopted by the General Council of the WTO.
- The programme was largely exploratory in nature, focussing on examining all trade issues relating to global ecommerce, considering the economic, financial and development needs of developing countries.
- Under the programme, WTO members agreed to continue the practice of not imposing Customs duties on electronic transmissions.
- Also known as “moratorium on Customs duties”, this has been renewed regularly at each Ministerial Conference.
WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions:
- The WTO e-commerce moratorium, which bans countries from imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
- The WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce defines “electronic commerce” as the “production, distribution, marketing, sale or delivery of goods and services by electronic means.” While the term is not defined uniformly, it is commonly held to encompass anything from software, emails, and text messages to digital music, movies and videogames.
- It is any form of communication that does not directly involve the physical transmission of paper that creates a record that may be retained, retrieved and reviewed by a recipient thereof and that may be directly reproduced in paper form by such a recipient through an automated process.
- It dates back to 1998 when ministers at the Second Ministerial Conference adopted the Declaration on Global Electronic Commerce, led the establishment of a work programme on e-commerce, which was adopted later that year.
- Every two years governments agree to extend the moratorium at the biennial WTO Ministerial Conference.
- The moratorium has enabled exponential growth in use of the Internet and the flourishing of the digital economy.