RCEP - E-commerce and SMEs

27 August 2021

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - E-commerce and SMEs

RCEP parties recognise electronic commerce (e-commerce) as an engine of economic growth and creating business opportunities for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It acknowledges the importance of setting out a framework that promotes consumer confidence in the adoption of e-commerce.


Key salient points


  • Forge cooperation between each parties to assist SMEs to overcome obstacles in the use of e-commerce.


  • Assist each others to implement/enhance their electronic commerce legal framework (e.g. capacity building or the provision of technical assistance) as well as to disclose information, share experiences and adopt best practices in addressing challenges related to the development and use of e-commerce.


  • Enhance trade facilitation in terms of (a) Practices of paper trading refer to accept trade administration documents submitted electronically and to provide trade administration documents in electronic form that public are able to access or download; and (b) Legal validity of an electronic signature.


  • Adopt or maintain a legal framework of online consumer protection and online personal information protection.


  • Each party shall maintain its current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions between the parties, in accordance with WTO Ministerial Decision. However, the agreement allow any parties to impose taxes, fees, or other charges on electronic transmissions, which are in a manner consistent with this Agreement.

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