World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Established in 1995, the WTO adopted a work program on eCommerce in 1998, which included among other things a moratorium on customs duties for electronic commerce. Since 2010, a separate WTO agreement on digital commerce is being discussed. This issue led to a split at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 2017 in Buenos Aires; participants divided into two groups of pros and cons. Internet organisations in general have fundamental doubts that the WTO has any mandate at all to deal with electronic commerce. They fear that an agreement on digital commerce could have an impact on the free Internet.


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