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TUNISIA

Since January 2001, last amended in April 2013

Pillar Technical standards applied to ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Restrictions on encryption standards
Law No. 1 of 2001 dated 15 January 2001 Concerning The Issuance of the Telecommunications Code
Arts. 9 and 87 of the Telecommunications Code ban the use of encryption and prescribe penalties of up to five years in prison for unauthorized use of such tools.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TUNISIA

Since January 2020

Pillar Technical standards applied to ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Restrictions on encryption standards
Government Decree No. 2020-48 of 23 January 2020 on procedures for approving the import and marketing of telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment
Art. 8 of Government Decree No. 2020-48 provides that any natural person or legal entity wishing to approve telecommunications equipment or radio equipment enabling the encryption of data exchanged over telecommunications networks is required to declare to the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche des Télécommunications (CERT, Telecommunications Research and Studies Center) the technical characteristics of the encryption method. The CERT examines the content of the declaration and checks that it complies with the encryption method used in the equipment and decides on the application for approval.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TUNISIA

Since January 2020
Since April 2019

Pillar Technical standards applied to ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Self-certification for product safety
Government Decree No. 48-2020 on import and commercialisation approval procedures for telecommunications terminal equipment and radioelectric equipment

Law No. 38-2019 Establishing an Accreditation System for Conformity Assessment Bodies
Art. 6 of Government Decree No. 48-2020 provides that telecommunications terminal equipment imported or manufactured in Tunisia and intended for marketing or public use, as well as radio equipment, whether or not it is intended to be connected to a public telecommunications network, must first be approved by type, brand and model by the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche des Télécommunications (CERT, Telecommunications Research and Studies Center). Art. 11 states that the CERT is responsible, in collaboration with the bodies concerned in the field of telecommunications, for drawing up the technical requirements for approval and technical conformity.
The Tunisian Accreditation Council (TUNAC) evaluates and accredits conformity assessment bodies in accordance with relevant national and international standards. TUNAC has mutual recognition agreements with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA) for the accreditation of laboratories for analysis, testing, and calibration. Moreover, TUNAC is also a signatory of the mutual recognition agreements with the International Accreditation Forum and the EA for the accreditation of certification bodies for quality and environmental management systems.
Coverage Telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment

TUNISIA

Since August 1994, last amended in October 2019
Since August 1994, last amended in September 2005
Since September 2005

Pillar Quantitative trade restrictions for ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Other import restrictions, including non-transparent/discriminatory import procedures
Decree 94-1744 of 29 August 1994 relating to the methods of technical control on import and export and the organizations empowered to exercise it

Order of the Minister of National Economy of 30 August 1994 fixing the list of products subject to technical control for import and export

Order of the Minister of Trade and Crafts, of 15 September 2005, amending of the Order of the Minister of National Economy of 30 August 1994 fixing the list of products subject to technical control for import and export
Arts. 3-10 of the Decree No. 94-1744 specify the technical import control, depending on the nature of the product, three types of controls, generally carried out at the point of clearance and before Customs authorizes release: "List A" products are subject to systematic control; "List B" products require a compliance certificate; and "List C" products are subject to specifications. The Decree is implemented by the Order of 15 September 2005, amending the Order of 30 August 1994, which specifies the list of products subject to technical import control. For products on List A, which includes telecommunications equipment and computers, the technical control is systematic and can take different forms (desk review, possibly accompanied by sample testing, inspection of goods or analysis of samples). It is reported that although all products are controlled, the modalities are not clear and give some discretionary power to the technical control authorities. In addition, it is reported that controls are not based on a risk analysis, Tunisian norms are not notified to World Trade Organization (WTO), and in cases where a laboratory analysis is requested, this prolongs the delay before commercialisation and increases storage costs.
Coverage Telecommunications equipment and computers
Sources

TUNISIA

Since January 2001, last amended in April 2013
Since January 2020

Pillar Quantitative trade restrictions for ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Other import restrictions, including non-transparent/discriminatory import procedures
Law No. 1-2001 promulgating the Telecommunications Code

Government Decree No. 48-2020 on import and commercialisation approval procedures for telecommunications terminal equipment and radioelectric equipment
Art. 32 of Telecommunications Code Telecommunications terminal equipment imported or manufactured in Tunisia and intended for marketing or public use, as well as radio terminal equipment, whether or not intended for connection to the public telecommunications network, are subject to prior authorisation. Decree No. 48-2020 regulates the terms and conditions of this authorisation.
Coverage Telecommunication equipment

TUNISIA

Since July 1990

Pillar Quantitative trade restrictions for ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Import ban applied on ICT goods, products and online services
GATT document L/6713
All imports from Israel are banned. According to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) document L/6713, Tunisia has not applied the GATT concerning Israel, in accordance with the provisions of Art. 35 of this Agreement, since the country's accession in 1990.
Coverage Imports from Israel

TUNISIA

Since January 2001, last amended in April 2013

Pillar Quantitative trade restrictions for ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Import ban applied on ICT goods, products and online services
Law No. 1 of 2001 dated 15 January 2001 Concerning The Issuance of the Telecommunications Code
Arts. 9 and 87 of the Telecommunications Code ban the use of encryption and prescribe penalties of up to five years in prison for unauthorized use of such tools.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TUNISIA

Since October 2022

Pillar Quantitative trade restrictions for ICT goods, products and online services  |  Sub-pillar Other import restrictions, including non-transparent/discriminatory import procedures
Joint communication between the Ministry of Trade and Export Development and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy
In October 2022, Tunisia introduced mandatory licences for imports into Tunisia on 130 product categories, including webcams, among others. The list of products was published by the Tunisian Ministry of Trade and Export Development but the measure was not published in the Official Journal of Tunisia and there was no notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Under the measure, importers wishing to import any of the covered goods into Tunisia, must first obtain an import licence from the relevant Tunisian ministry. For that purpose, importers must submit an importation file to competent authorities. The application file must contain several documents, including: an invoice issued by the factory; a certificate issued by an official authority in the country of export relating to the legal entity of the factory and the license permitting it to practice its activity; a proof that the factory has a quality control system in place (in practice: a certificate presenting the quality procedures in place, ISO standards, self-certification etc); a list of products to be imported; the trademark of the product and the trademark that is produced under a license from the entity owning it (in practice: registered trademark in the country of origin); a model of the labels of the imported products; a free sale certificate delivered by the national authorities of the exporting party; and documents and reports confirming that the imported products meet applicable quality standards (in practice: ISO certificates, conformity Moreover, Tunisian authorities reserve the right to request additional documents to check the quality and safety of imported goods or request samples of goods to be imported for inspection. There are no clear or published deadlines for processing the applications by the Tunisian authorities. According to the information available, the processing of applications may vary from 48 hours to 4 months.
Coverage Webcams
Sources

TUNISIA

Reported in 2022

Pillar Content access  |  Sub-pillar Blocking or filtering of commercial web content
Blocking and filtering of commercial web content
It is reported that in March 2022, there disruptions to two online communications platforms, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for a short period of time.
Coverage Zoom, Microsoft teams

TUNISIA

Since April 2020

Pillar Content access  |  Sub-pillar Restrictions on online advertising
Order of the Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation of 17 April 2020, approving the specifications relating to the organization of the exercise of the profession of commercial advertising agent
The specifications for the exercise of the profession of commercial advertising agent, as set out in the "Order of the Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation of 17 April 2020", require natural persons or legal representatives of legal entities wishing to exercise the profession of commercial advertising agent to hold a national licence or its equivalent or to have completed two years of higher education and to provide evidence of at least one year's professional experience in an advertising agency (Art. 3) and to be of Tunisian nationality (Art. 4). The specifications also require that the legal entity be subject to Tunisian law, be managed by Tunisians and that its foreign capital not exceed 50% (Art. 7). Arts. 6 and 8 of the specifications also require natural and legal persons to provide a bank guarantee. Annex 2 of the specifications describes the types of activities carried out by commercial advertising agents and includes digital communication agencies, which deal with the development of websites and online applications, the creation and management of online content and the management of social media networks.
Coverage Commercial advertising

TUNISIA

N/A

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar Safe harbor for intermediaries for any activity other than copyright infringement
Lack of intermediary liability framework in place beyond copyright infringement
A basic legal framework on intermediary liability beyond copyright infringement is absent in Tunisia's law and jurisprudence.
Coverage Internet intermediaries

TUNISIA

Since November 2021

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar User identity requirement
Circular of the Minister of Communications Technologies dated November 24, 2021, regarding the rules regulating the online sale of mobile phone SIM cards
According to paragraph 2 of the Circular of the Ministry of Communications Technologies of November 2021, mobile phone customers in Tunisia must present documentary evidence to prove their identity upon purchasing a SIM card. Telecom operators keep records of customers’ data, including identities, dates of birth, postal addresses, and national identity numbers or passports.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TUNISIA

Since December 2014

Pillar Domestic Data policies  |  Sub-pillar Requirement to allow the government to access personal data collected
Decree No. 4773-2014 fixing the conditions and procedures for allocating authorizations for ISP activities
ISPs have the duty, according to Art. 11(3-4) of Decree No. 4773-2014, “to meet the requirements of the national defence, security and public safety in accordance with the legislation and regulation in force” and to “provide to the relevant authorities all the means necessary for the performance of his duties, in that context, the provider of Internet services shall respect the instructions of the legal, military and national security authorities”. It is reported that the ISPs may be required, therefore, to cooperate with the public authorities as needed and this may imply divulgation of customers’ information.
Coverage Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

TUNISIA

N/A

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar Safe harbor for intermediaries for copyright infringement
Lack of intermediary liability framework in place for copyright infringements
A basic legal framework on intermediary liability for copyright infringement is absent in Tunisia's law and jurisprudence.
Coverage Internet intermediaries

TUNISIA

Since January 2023
Since January 2011
Since January 1978

Pillar Domestic Data policies  |  Sub-pillar Requirement to allow the government to access personal data collected
Decree No. 2023-47 of 30 January 2023, extending the state of emergency

Decree No. 2011-184 of 15 January 2011, declaring a state of emergency throughout the territory of the Republic

Decree No. 78-50 of 26 January 1978, regulating the state of emergency
Under Presidential Decree 2023-47, the authorities extended until the end of December 2023 a state of emergency originally declared in 2011 under Decree No. 2011-184 and extended several times. The Tunisian authorities declared a state of emergency under Decree 78-50, which reportedly allows them to access electronic devices without a court order.
Coverage Horizontal