Tariff free digital trade could be coming to an end

GENEVA (Reuters) – A 20-year global moratorium on imposing tariffs on digital trade could end next week if India or South Africa make good on threats, according to trade officials and documents, potentially forcing people to pay duties on software and movie downloads. Since 1998, World Trade Organization (WTO) members have renewed a ban on import duties on so-called “electronic transmissions”, worth up to $255 billion a year by one estimate. Pressure is now growing to lift the ban as more books and movies become digital, potentially reducing revenues further. Indonesia created tariff codes for digital goods in 2018, fixing the level at 0 percent for now. “More and more production is going to be digitised in future so developing countries will lose tariff revenues,” Rashmi Banga, the report’s author, said.

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