12 March 2024
Canadian Custom Brokerage

WTO extends duty moratorium on e-commerce transmissions

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi on March 2nd with little results as agreements could not be reached on most major issues such as subsidies on fisheries and dispute resolution.

On electronic commerce, members agreed to maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until the 14th Session of the Ministerial Conference (MC14), or 31 March 2026, whichever is earliest.

Global business, through the International Chamber of Commerce, expressed it’s concern: “Preserving the protections the moratorium offers until the next ministerial conference is, certainly, a welcome move to avoid a cliff-edge scenario. But today’s decision introduces a degree of uncertainty that risks chilling investment in an already fragile economic environment.”

The WTO moratorium has exempted data flows from cross-border tariffs since 1998.

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