Outcomes: Electronic Commerce
The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Trade Agreement (IA-CEPA) contains up-to-date commitments for trade in the digital age. The commitments Australia and Indonesia have made represent a significant step-forward from our existing commitments in the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and support companies and consumers engaging in the dynamic online marketplace. In addition to rules supporting the flow of data, IA-CEPA includes commitments to protect privacy and consumer rights and combat 'spam' messages.
Keeping information moving
For the first time Australia and Indonesia agreed rules to support the free flow of 'data' or 'information' across borders for service suppliers and investors as part of their business activities. Data flows are a vital component of digital trade for all kinds of businesses, such as hotels that rely on international online reservation systems or small businesses that sell their products through global e-commerce platforms. These forward-looking commitments help position Australian and Indonesian digital businesses to benefit from the extensive opportunities presented by digital trade.
Australia and Indonesia also agreed to not introduce new laws and regulations that require data to be stored locally within a country. Having the ability to choose where data is stored – including on the cloud – allows businesses to make efficient and cost effective decisions. Under IA CEPA, Indonesia will not be able to make its existing laws on local storage of data more restrictive and any liberalisation will be automatically captured, benefitting Australian traders.
These commitments do not prevent the Parties from implementing measures to protect security interests or achieve other public policy outcomes, so Australia's open and robust regulatory framework, including the Privacy Act and e-health record system (My Health Records Act 2012), are not affected.
Creating confidence for software exporters
Australian and Indonesian software suppliers will not be required to hand over valuable source code as a condition for the import, sale, distribution or use of software. These commitments promote confidence for software developers, including tech start-ups for whom proprietary source code can be the foundation of their business. In making these commitments, Australia and Indonesia have retained the ability to require modification of software to ensure it complies with laws and regulations, such as for video game ratings.
Electronic Trade facilitation
IA-CEPA contains commitments to help facilitate cross-border trade, including through provisions aimed at supporting the use of electronic signatures and digital trade administration documents.
Protecting consumers, privacy and tackling 'spam'
Building consumer confidence and trust in the digital environment, including by protecting personal information in online transactions, is essential for a well-functioning online market. IA-CEPA supports this with provisions on privacy protection, consumer protection and measures to address 'spam' messages.
Cooperating to support electronic commerce, including through cooperation on cyber security
Australia and Indonesia have agreed to work together to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to overcome obstacles in the use of e-commerce; to share information and experiences on e-commerce regulations and policies; and to encourage the private sector to develop self-regulation that fosters e-commerce. Australia and Indonesia have also recognised the importance of cooperation on cyber security.
Transparent regulations and policies are important for businesses and consumers, especially in the fast moving digital environment. Australia and Indonesia recognise this in IA-CEPA, including by committing to publishing information on the rights and protections provided to e-commerce users.