On 16 July, an article from the UN Conference on Trade & Development published an article which says that while customs duties were applied on the physical imports of these digitalised products, their online imports escape customs duties, this because of a WTO e-commerce moratorium dating back to 1998 when few products were digitally traded and only a couple of countries had the capacity to collect customs duties on intangible imports anyway. However, for developing countries tariff revenues due to the moratorium were estimated at $10 billion in 2017. A decision on continuing with the moratorium or not will be taken at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2021. The article argues that the covid-19 crisis has worsened the effect of the moratorium.




If you would like to say thanks by making a small contribution, in case I need to upgrade or replace my computers and other paraphernalia, I have a page at “Buy me a Coffee” –


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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