WTO JSI e-commerce negotiations finalise text on e-signatures and authentication

Participants of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce announced that a clean negotiating text on the issue of e-signatures and authentication has been finalised. Discussions on this topic have been facilitated by Mrs Gintare Kemekliene (European Union), who reported that the clean text derives from 11 proposals tabled by members at the start of the process. It seeks to ensure that the electronic signatures used in an online transaction are not denied their value or legal effect because they are submitted in electronic format. Earlier this year, members finalised a clean text on unsolicited commercial messages (spam). The deadlines set by the JSI co-convenors for this year include a total of ten clean texts on various issues by the summer break and  substantial progress at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), which will take place from 30 November to 3 December 2021 in Geneva. The next JSI e-commerce meeting is expected to address data-related issues.