Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

25 May 1998

The Geneva Ministerial Declaration on global electronic commerce

Ministerial conference: Second Session Geneva, 18 and 20 May 1998

Declaration on global electronic commerce

Adopted on 20 May 1998


Recognizing that global electronic commerce is growing and creating new opportunities for trade,

Declare that:

The General Council shall, by its next meeting in special session, establish a comprehensive work programme to examine all trade-related issues relating to global electronic commerce, including those issues identified by Members. The work programme will involve the relevant World Trade Organization ("WTO") bodies, take into account the economic, financial, and development needs of developing countries, and recognize that work is also being undertaken in other international fora. The General Council should produce a report on the progress of the work programme and any recommendations for action to be submitted at our third session. Without prejudice to the outcome of the work programme or the rights and obligations of Members under the WTO Agreements, we also declare that Members will continue their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
When reporting to our third session, the General Council will review this declaration, the extension of which will be decided by consensus, taking into account the progress of the work programme.