India opposes ban on e-commerce duty

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: External Trade, Issue: Duties on e-transmission

Context: India urged the WTO to reconsider its ban on charging customs duties for e-commerce goods and services.

Duties on electronic transmissions (e-commerce):

  • Earlier physical goods like books, videos and music cassettes were governed by traditional tariff rules.
  • Now such services are available as digital services (e-transmission).
  • In 1998, World Trade Organization (WTO) members agreed a moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions (e-commerce) which were periodically extended.
  • Developing nations are facing massive loss in potential revenue with such imports from developed countries.
  • Hence nations like India, South Africa and Indonesia are set to oppose efforts by the U.S. and Europe to extend the moratorium.
  • The moratorium was last extended during the 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva in 2022.
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