Trade Regulations

Mercosur trade bloc members sign electronic trade agreement

May, 03, 2021 Posted by Andrew Lorimer

Week 202119

The four founding members of Mercosur who are still members –  Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – signed the bloc’s electronic commerce agreement in Montevideo, agreed at the Common Market Council’s virtual meeting and announced in December last year.

Under this new agreement – which was not signed in December due to the virtual meeting – a common legal framework was established to facilitate trade in the bloc by electronic means, both for goods and services.

The agreement also provides for the cross-border transfer of information, the protection of personal data, the non-imposition of tariffs on electronic transmissions, electronic signatures, the location of computer facilities, online consumer protection, and access and use of the Internet.

Electronic commerce has been increasing annually, but the lifestyle changes imposed by the pandemic have accelerated this trend. According to the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE), electronic commerce in Argentina grew 124% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The increase is observed in the number of products sold (251 million, 72% more than in 2019) and the number of purchase orders (164 million, 84% more than in 2019).

“These values ​​only corroborate the importance of Mercosur having its own legal text on the subject,” stated the federal government in a press release.

Although it is a modern instrument in line with the texts negotiated at the multilateral level and in the regional and sub-regional trade agreements, the agreement provides a half-yearly review clause to gradually incorporate the technological and regulatory advances related to this matter.

 

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