OECD Trade Policy Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected trade policy studies prepared for use within the OECD.

NB. No. 1 to No. 139 were released under the previous series title OECD Trade Policy Working Papers.


Understanding the potential scope, definition and impact of the WTO e-commerce Moratorium

New empirical evidence and analysis of provisions in regional trade agreements help bring clarity to debates on the potential scope, definition and impact of the WTO e-commerce Moratorium. OECD analysis demonstrates that the potential fiscal revenue implications of the Moratorium are small, amounting to, on average, 0.68% of total customs revenue or 0.1% of total government revenue. Well-designed value added or goods and services taxes (VAT/GST) can help offset potential foregone revenue in most countries. Failure to renew the Moratorium would result in greater policy uncertainty and less trade, and tariffs on electronic transmissions would reduce domestic competitiveness. Adverse effects would be most pronounced for low-income countries and smaller firms. Overall, evidence demonstrates that there is a strong case for the Moratorium to be renewed.


Keywords: Moratorium, electronic transmissions, e-commerce, customs revenue, customs duties, digital economy, Digital trade, trade policy, digitisable goods
JEL: O33: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights / Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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