Mercosur countries sign digital trade deal – Eurasia Review
By Wellton Máximo and Pedro Rafael Vilela
The Mercosur countries have signed an electronic commerce agreement facilitating digital transactions and prohibiting the creation of barriers in the segment. According to a note from the Brazilian ministries of economy and foreign affairs, the document deepens regional integration by regulating an increasingly relevant topic in world trade.
The agreement represents a common legal step in preventing the creation of possible obstacles to electronic commerce between the four members of the bloc – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Among the topics agreed upon are the ban on tariffs on downloads, streaming and purchases on stores incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.
Under this agreement, Mercosur countries are not allowed to ask digital service companies to install servers in the national territory. Thus, a platform operating in Brazil does not need, for example, to install a server in Argentina to serve consumers in neighboring countries. Only financial institutions have to meet this requirement, according to the central banks of Mercosur members.
Other elements of the pact include the acceptance of digital signatures in Mercosur countries, the alignment of national online consumer protection standards with the bloc’s rules and the adoption and preservation of personal data protection and anti-spam legislation.
Also in the joint note, the ministry announced that the agreement was based on the most advanced recommendations of international forums, such as the G20 and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The regional agreement, the note reports, contributes to the creation of international rules for electronic commerce within the WHO.
Since 1998, WHO countries have, every two years, renewed their commitment not to impose customs duties on electronic commerce, thus establishing itself as a tool for local protection of the segment in the absence of global agreement. The signed text would be similar to the trade agreement concluded with Chile in 2018.
The Mercosur e-commerce deal was signed on April 29 and unveiled by the Brazilian government also last week. “Its conclusion once again reinforces Mercosur’s commitment to trade integration and to strengthening the conditions for the competitiveness of its economies,” said the note.
Also on Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro submitted to Congress the text of the Mercosur Border Locations Agreement, signed at the 55th Mercosur Heads of State Summit, in 2019.
The agreement aims to provide the legal basis in international law for the governments of Mercosur to guarantee the citizens of these regions the right to obtain a neighborhood transit document facilitating movement between countries and granting advantages for studies, the subsistence labor, health care and commerce. goods.
Holders of this document will be able to study and work on both sides of the border. They will also have the right to pass through an exclusive or priority channel, where applicable, at border posts. The right to health services in these areas can be granted on a mutual and complementary basis.
The agreement also concerns questions of cooperation between public institutions in these regions in the fields of epidemiological surveillance, public security, the fight against transnational crime, civil protection, teacher training, human rights. human rights, the preservation of cultural heritage, the mobility of artists and the circulation of cultural goods, and measures against the illicit trafficking of such goods.