WTO continues its e-commerce customs tariff moratorium

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to abstain from imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, last 12-17 June 2022. The moratorium will expire until the next Ministerial Conference (MC13), which will be held on 31 December 2023, or until 31 March 2024 should MC13 be delayed. The said moratorium was adopted by WTO in 1998 and renewed at successive ministerial conferences. 

The moratorium on e-commerce was supported by the Philippines as well. In a statement submitted by DTI  Secretary Ramon Lopez to the WTO, he expressed that the moratorium on electronic transmissions should be maintained as it will help the Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to participate in the global value chains. 

Additionally, the Philippines co-sponsored the draft ministerial decision to revitalize the work program on
e-commerce. During the Thematic Session on Electronic Commerce Work Program and Moratorium, DTI Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty underscored the necessity “to maintain a stable and predictable digital trading environment not only for big businesses but especially for MSMEs and women entrepreneurs to boost economic growth.”. 

In this digital age, e-commerce will significantly contribute to economic growth and open new opportunities for MSMEs to engage in international trade.ASLQ

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