The four founding and still full members of Mercosur - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – Friday signed in Montevideo the bloc's electronic commerce accord which had been agreed on at the Common Market Council virtual Meeting last December, it was announced.
As per this new agreement, which could not be signed in December due to the virtuality of the encounter, a common legal framework was established to facilitate trade within the bloc through electronic means, both in goods and services.
The agreement also provides for the cross-border transfer of information, protection of personal data, non-imposition of tariffs on electronic transmissions, electronic signature, location of computer facilities, online consumer protection, internet access and use.
Electronic commerce had been increasing its figures annually, but the changes in lifestyle that the pandemic imposed accelerated this trend. According to the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE), electronic commerce in Argentina grew 124% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The increase is observed both in the number of products sold (251 million, 72% more than in 2019) and in the number of purchase orders (164 million, 84% more than in 2019).
These values only corroborate the importance of Mercosur having its own legal text on this matter, the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
Although it is a modern instrument, aligned with the texts that are being negotiated both in multilateral fields and in regional and subregional trade agreements, the Agreement provides for a biannual review clause to gradually incorporate technological and regulatory developments related to this constantly evolving activity.