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E-Commerce

  • AUSFTA recognises the importance of there being no
    barriers to trade conducted electronically
  • Australia is still able to regulate for public policy
    purposes
  • Trade and investment is encouraged by further
    facilitating electronic commerce

Summary

Australia and the United States have agreed not to impose
customs duties on digital products or to discriminate in favour
of one form of the same digital product over another. An
online soundtrack, for example, will not be taxed differently
to the same soundtrack on a compact disc.

Both countries have reaffirmed that products should not be
discriminated against just because they are traded
electronically. For example, an architectural plan
delivered by email should be treated just the same as if it is
delivered in the regular mail.

Australia and the United States will recognise digital
certificates issued by each government (so that an Australian
business can deal directly online with a US government entity).
Online versions of customs documents will be made
available and accepted as the equivalent of paper versions.

Gains for Australia

  • Trade and investment with the United States will be
    easier and more convenient for Australian businesses and
    consumers.
  • Importantly, none of what has been agreed undermines our
    capacity to ensure that Australian stories and voices are
    heard and seen in Australian media.
  • Both countries retain the right to regulate electronic
    commerce for legitimate public policy reasons, such as public
    morals, health, welfare, and education.
  • In addition, there is no bar to either country
    introducing new measures to tackle problems unique to
    electronic commerce, such as online gambling and email
    spam.
Last Updated: 14 November 2012
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