Convergence on e-commerce: the case of Argentina, Brazil and MERCOSUR

- 23 November 2020

Trade topics: E-commerce, Regional Integration, Trade Negotiations, Data Protection

E-commerce is growing rapidly in Argentina and Brazil, and in both countries the share of the population participating in e-commerce transactions exceeds the Latin American average. Both countries have established a legal framework for data protection, regulation of the internet, consumer protection, taxation of e-commerce, and contracts and e-signatures. Argentina and Brazil also have submitted proposals for negotiations over the treatment of e-commerce transactions in WTO Agreements, and included e-commerce provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs). However, different approaches to internal regulation of e-commerce and differences in positions in international negotiations indicate diverging regulatory approaches that will increase legal uncertainty and thus constrain investments and market expansion in the sector. An exception is the regulation of data protection, where both countries are following principles laid out in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Further negotiations between the two countries over regulatory convergence for e-commerce could best be undertaken through the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR).