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Work Programme on Electronic Commerce
This work programme was adopted at the Geneva ministerial conference of the WTO in 2011.

 

 


See also the CENTRAL guide to Trade in Services.

 

 

 

 

 
The Ministerial Conference,

Recalling the "Work Programme on Electronic Commerce" adopted on 25 September 1998 (WT/L/274), and pursuant to the mandate assigned by Members in the Seventh Session of the Ministerial Conference (WT/L/782) to intensively reinvigorate that work with a view to the adoption of decisions on that subject at its next session, to be held in 2011,

Decides:

To continue the reinvigoration of the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, based on its existing mandate and guidelines and on the basis of proposals submitted by Members, including the development-related issues under the Work Programme and the discussions on the trade treatment, inter alia, of electronically delivered software, and to adhere to the basic principles of the WTO, including non-discrimination, predictability and transparency, in order to enhance internet connectivity and access to all information and telecommunications technologies and public internet sites, for the growth of electronic commerce, with special consideration in developing countries, and particularly in least-developed country Members.  The Work Programme shall also examine access to electronic commerce by micro, small and medium sized enterprises, including small producers and suppliers,

To instruct the General Council to emphasize and reinvigorate the development dimension in the Work Programme particularly through the CTD to examine and monitor development-related issues such as technical assistance, capacity building, and the facilitation of access to electronic commerce by micro, small and medium sized enterprises, including small producers and suppliers, of developing countries and particularly of least-developed country Members.  Further, any relevant body of the Work Programme may explore appropriate mechanisms to address the relationship between electronic commerce and development in a focused and comprehensive manner,

To further instruct the General Council to hold periodic reviews in its sessions of July and December 2012 and July 2013, based on the reports submitted by the WTO bodies entrusted with the implementation of the Work Programme, to assess its progress and consider any recommendations on possible measures related to electronic commerce in the next session of the Ministerial Conference,

We decide that Members will maintain the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until our next session, which we have decided to hold in 2013.