World Trade Facilitation Agreement

Each Member shall, where appropriate, hold regular consultations between its border agencies and professionals or other stakeholders in its territory. 2.3 Members are invited to provide other trade-related information via the Internet, including relevant trade legislation and other matters referred to in paragraph 1.1. In addition, both developing and least-developed countries were required to provide the WTO with information on contact points for the coordination of these TACBs (Article 22.3). As of 22 February 2019, only five developing countries have met this commitment. This low level of compliance makes it difficult for donors and development partners to coordinate aid and rely on the willingness of these countries to implement ambitious trade facilitation projects. (iii) Members should also promote internal coordination among their trade and development officials, both in capitals and in Geneva, in the implementation of this Agreement and technical assistance. Technical assistance for trade facilitation is provided by the WTO, WTO Members and other intergovernmental organizations, including the World Bank, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). In July 2014, the WTO announced the creation of the Trade Facilitation Facility, which assists developing and least-developed countries in implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Facility was operational with the adoption of the Trade Facilitation Protocol on 27 November 2014.

The TFA aims to speed up trade procedures, including the movement, release and clearance of goods. Its full implementation could boost global trade by $1 trillion a year and reduce trade costs by 14.3 per cent for low-income countries and more than 13 per cent for middle-income countries. Section II of the Agreement contains innovative provisions on special and differential treatment linking implementation by developing and least developed countries to the acquisition of the capacity to implement the Agreement for the first time in the history of the WTO (see box). (ii) for member States of least developed countries, the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Assistance to Least Developed Countries should be part of this coordination process; and the TFA contains a number of transparency obligations with respect to the substantive provisions of the agreement with respect to (i) online descriptions of trade procedures; (ii) contact points to respond to requests for information; (iii) the operation of individual windows; (iv) the use of customs agents; and (v) contact points for the exchange of customs information. .

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