Government seeks end to WTO’s 1998 tariff freeze on digital trade

India wants to end the ban on countries imposing taxes on electronic trade, a move that would allow it to impose tariffs on anything from software downloads to video games.

New Delhi will ask WTO members to lift customs restrictions on electronic transmissions, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are not public. The issue will come up for discussion at the WTO ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi in February.

The WTO has imposed a customs duty moratorium on electronic transmissions since 1998, with members extending the rule every two years. Other developing countries like India and South Africa say that because of the ban… loss of tariff revenue and affects their business competitiveness.

India wants to be able to tax goods that are involved in digital trade, the person said. It will also put pressure on the WTO to bring clarity on the definition of goods in e-commerce, the person said.

Global businesses have opposed lifting the moratorium, and have urged WTO members to keep the restrictions in place to help the industry’s post-pandemic recovery and preserve supply chains.

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(TagstoTranslate) Government pushes to end WTO 1998 tariff moratorium Digital trade WTO(T)Tariffs(T)WTO(T)Government(T)Software(T)Digital goods

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