Regulatory aspects of electronic commerce
1. The parties shall maintain a dialogue on regulatory issues raised by electronic commerce, which will inter alia address the following issues:
(a) the recognition of certificates of electronic signatures issued to the public and the facilitation of cross-border certification services,
(b) the liability of intermediary service providers with respect to the transmission, or storage of information,
(c) the treatment of unsolicited electronic commercial communications,
(d) the protection of consumers in the ambit of electronic commerce,
(e) any other issue relevant for the development of electronic commerce.
2. Such cooperation can take the form of exchange of information on the Parties’ respective legislation on these issues as well as on the implementation of such legislation.
1 Without prejudice to general exceptions set in Articles 472 of this Agreement, the provisions of this Chapter and of Annexes XVI-A, XVI-B, XVI-D and XVI-E to this Agreement are subject to the exceptions contained in this Article.
2. Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where like conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on establishment or cross-border supply of services, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent the adoption or enforcement by any Party of measures:
(a) necessary to protect public security or public morals or to maintain public order;
(b) necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health;
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(c) relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources if such measures are applied in conjunction with restrictions on domestic investors or on the domestic supply or consumption of services;
(d) necessary for the protection of national treasures of artistic, historic or archaeological value;
(e) necessary to secure compliance with laws or regulations which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter including those relating to:
(i) the prevention of deceptive and fraudulent practices or to deal with the effects of a default on contracts;
(ii) the protection of the privacy of individuals in relation to the processing and dissemination of personal data and the protection of confidentiality of individual records and accounts;
(f) inconsistent with Articles 88(1) and 94 [of this Agreement], provided that the difference in treatment is aimed at ensuring the effective or equitable imposition or collection of direct taxes in respect of economic activities, investors or services suppliers of the other Party35.
3. The provisions of this Chapter and of Annexes XVI-B and XVI-E [to this Agreement]shall not apply to the Parties’ respective social security systems or to activities in the territory of each Party, which are connected, even occasionally, with the exercise of official authority.
35 Measures that are aimed at ensuring the equitable or effective imposition or collection of direct taxes include measures taken by a Party under its taxation system which:
(i) apply to non-resident investors and services suppliers in recognition of the fact that the tax obligation of non-residents is determined with respect to taxable items sourced or located in the Party's territory; or
(ii) apply to non-residents in order to ensure the imposition or collection of taxes in the Party's territory;
(iii) apply to non-residents or residents in order to prevent the avoidance or evasion of taxes, including compliance measures; or
(iv) apply to consumers of services supplied in or from the territory of another Party in order to ensure
the imposition or collection of taxes on such consumers derived from sources in the Party's territory; or
(v) distinguish investors and service suppliers subject to tax on worldwide taxable items from other investors and service suppliers, in recognition of the difference in the nature of the tax base between them; or
(vi) determine, allocate or apportion income, profit, gain, loss, deduction or credit of resident persons or branches, or between related persons or branches of the same person, in order to safeguard the Party's tax base.
Tax terms or concepts in paragraph (f) of this provision and in this footnote are determined according to tax definitions and concepts, or equivalent or similar definitions and concepts, under the domestic law of the Party taking the measure.
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The MFN treatment granted in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to the tax treatment that Parties are providing or will provide in future on the basis of agreements between the Parties designed to avoid double taxation.