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Experts: The WTO’s ban on customs charges for electronic commerce must expire

<p>Experts have advised the Indian government to oppose the extension of the moratorium on customs duties on online deliveries of music, e-books, films, software, and video games. This is in advance of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on February 26–29, 2024.</p>
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<p>According to analysts, the Indian government’s first objective at the summit should be lifting the ban. According to Ajay Srivastava, the founder of the think tank Global Trade Research Initiative, “India must argue that its continued extension without concrete progress on resolving underlying concerns is detrimental to developing countries seeking to leverage digital trade for development” because the moratorium is the longest-running in WTO history.</p>
<p>Since its implementation in 1998, the moratorium has received support from 105 nations, who claim that it keeps consumers and companies safe and predictable, particularly during the epidemic.</p>
<p>South Africa and India, however, are against the customs duty moratorium on the electronic sale of internet material. The two nations have cited UN Conference on Trade and Development figures stating that the ban results in a $10 billion annual loss in potential customs charges worldwide, with poor nations bearing 95% of this cost. Additionally, the two nations have worked to elucidate the precise definition of electronic communication.</p>
<p>Trade experts believe that India needs to emphasize the need for policy space so that it may implement domestic support measures and regulations for its rapidly expanding e-commerce industry.</p>
<p>This includes the authority to charge customs fees on digital communications in order to make money and promote fair competition for home companies.</p>
<p>Experts assert that in addition to the embargo, India has to push for e-commerce talks to address more general concerns including data privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer safety. India need to support a thorough approach to e-commerce regulation that takes into account all relevant factors.</p>