WCO Welcomes G7 Trade Ministers’ Digital Trade Principles

26 十月 2021

At the meeting in London on 22 October 2021, the G7 countries agreed upon the Digital Trade Principles at the G7 Trade Track. The Digital Trade Principles cover five major areas: 1) open digital markets; 2) data free flow with trust; 3) safeguards for workers, consumers, and businesses; 4) digital trading systems, and 5) fair and inclusive global governance.

The WCO welcomes the Digital Trade Principles designed with the final objective of ensuring that digital trade, as well as international trade, are at the service of people. The WCO notes the G7 desire for ensuring that electronic transmissions are free of Customs duties, in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transactions. The WCO will continue monitoring developments in this area.

The G7 addresses the potential role that open government data can play in digital trade. Data is intrinsic to the functioning of Customs administrations, who collect large volumes of data on international trade. Furthermore, some of this data is already rendered to the public in anonymized and aggregated forms. ‘’The WCO recognized these developments and started exploring how the global Customs community can contribute to the principle of open government data.’’ said the WCO Secretary General, Dr Kunio Mikuriya. “Last year, we published a Manifesto for Data Mobilisation in Customs, where a better use of Customs data was explored. In the near-term, we envisage working with Members in order to develop the international Customs data ecosystem, which embeds the principle of open government data,” he added.

The G7 outlines the importance of personal data protection and privacy policy as key measures to enable the free flow of data with trust. Such measures are in line with the responsible use of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR) for facilitating passenger flows and securing international travel.

The Principle on digital trading systems refers to the need to digitalize the trade environment, a process that the WCO advocates through the Single Window environment and the WCO Data Model, which aim to streamline cross-border regulatory process by eliminating redundancies, simplifying procedures and formalities, and harmonizing and standardizing data processing.

Background information

The Group of 7 (G7) is an informal political forum comprising of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States.

The European Union (EU) is the only supranational organization that is a member of G7. Since it is not a sovereign Member State, the EU is considered as a ‘non-enumerated’ member.  

The United Kingdom holds the G7 Presidency in 2021, followed by Germany in 2022.