§ Mr. Mitchell
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 5 April 2001,Official Report, column 242W, on electronic commerce, if he will make a statement on (a) the nature of VAT rules for e-commerce supplies and the changes proposed by the Commission, (b) the purpose of the proposed directive on distance marketing of financial services and (c) when the proposed directive and changes to the VAT rules will next be considered by the ECOFIN Council. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
Article 9 of the EC Sixth VAT Directive includes rules covering the VAT treatment of e-commerce supplies. The European Commission have proposed a number of changes to these rules, and these are next due to be discussed at the June ECOFIN.
The proposed directive on distance marketing of financial services is intended to complement directive 97/7/EC, which established rules for the distance selling of goods and services other than financial services. The proposed directive includes principles for conduct of business and consumer protection for financial services sold at a distance across borders.