Consultation on a review of the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA) – Shape your business environment!
A number of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods are given duty free treatment under the so called Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The European Commission wishes to launch negotiations in the World Trade Organisation on expanded product coverage, removal of Non-Tariff Barriers and invite more countries to participate in the ITA.
Why should the ITA be reviewed?
– The ICT product segment has evolved rapidly while the coverage of the ITA has remained static. Even from the start not all ICT goods for professional use were covered. Most spare parts and consumables linked to ICT goods, e.g. batteries, are also not covered by the ITA. In order to keep the ITA up to date the product coverage needs to be expanded so that more ICT goods can benefit from duty free treatment.
– Consumer electronic products are with a few exceptions not covered by the ITA.
– Despite the removal of tariffs some formidable obstacles to free trade in ICT goods still remains in place. These obstacles or Non-tariff barriers are barriers that refer to technical standards and regulation which may – like tariffs – impede or limit market access in a country outside the EU.
Which products are targeted?
The European Union wishes to launch negotiations in the World Trade Organisation on expanded product coverage, removal of Non-Tariff Barriers and invite more countries to participate in the ITA.
A list of products with a strong ICT angle but that are not currently covered by the ITA is available here. Although this list is not exhaustive it would be worth considering these products for tariff liberalisation.
This questionnaire is mainly addressed to SMEs that use, import or market ICT goods.
Completing this questionnaire takes approximately 15-25 minutes.
The data obtained from this panel will not be used and interpreted on the level of the individual company participating and confidentiality of individual data is assures.
Closing date: Wednesday 13th January 2010
If you want to take part in this consultation please click here.