ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Legal Framework for E-Commerce

SUBSEQUENT lo publication of the article on 'Taxing Electronic Commerce' (EPW, May 9, 1998, p 1068), two major developments have taken place. Firstly, the US proposal to keep 'electronic transmissions' customs duty-free for all time to come did not receive unanimous support in the last G-8 meeting. Secondly, the second WTO Ministerial Conference at Geneva, which followed the G-8 meeting in May 1998, authorised a comprehensive work programme to examine all trade-related issues relating to global electronic commerce. It also declared that WTO members would "continue the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions", the extension of which will be decided next year by consensus while reviewing this declaration. It is hoped that during the year, the member countries will not only address the complex issues involved in taxing e-commerce hut will also find ways to remove several hurdles, technological and legal, that it faces. It is proposed to highlight some of the latter in this short paper.

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