Provisions on Electronic Commerce in Regional Trade Agreements

This paper reviews the different types of provisions explicitly addressing electronic commerce (e-commerce) in regional trade agreements (RTAs). The analysis covers the 275 RTAs currently in force and notified to the WTO as of May 2017.

The analysis shows that e-commerce provisions have become increasingly more detailed but remain highly heterogeneous. The most common types of e-commerce provisions refer to the promotion of e-commerce, cooperation activities and the moratorium on customs duties. Other e-commerce provisions concern the domestic legal framework as well as more specific issues, such as electronic authentication, consumer protection, personal information protection and paperless trading.

No: ERSD-2017-11

Authors: JosÚ-Antonio Monteiro and Robert Teh

Manuscript date: June 2017

Key Words:

Regional Trade Agreements, Electronic Commerce, E-commerce.

JEL classification numbers:

F13, F15

back to top


This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of its author. They are not intended to represent the positions or opinions of the WTO or its members and are without prejudice to members' rights and obligations under the WTO. Any errors are attributable to the author.

Download paper in pdf format (74pages, 1224KB; opens in a new window)