The World Trade Organization`s Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) is a significant milestone for global trade. The TFA was adopted at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, as part of a broader package of agreements known as the Bali Package.
The TFA aims to simplify and streamline customs procedures and improve the transparency of trade regulations to reduce trade costs. It covers three main areas: (1) improving transparency, (2) simplifying customs procedures, and (3) enhancing cooperation between customs officials.
The TFA promotes greater transparency in customs procedures by requiring member countries to publish their customs laws and regulations online. This means that businesses can access this information more easily, which makes it easier for them to comply with regulations and avoid unnecessary delays.
Simplified Customs Procedures
The TFA also aims to simplify customs procedures and reduce delays in the movement of goods across borders. It requires member countries to implement simplified procedures for the release and clearance of goods, such as a single window system for submitting trade-related documents.
Enhanced Cooperation Between Customs Officials
The TFA recognizes that cooperation between customs officials is essential to improving customs procedures and reducing trade costs. The agreement requires member countries to share information and cooperate on customs matters, including border procedures, risk management, and the exchange of information.
The implementation of the TFA is expected to have a significant impact on global trade. According to the World Bank, the TFA could reduce trade costs by up to 14.3% for low-income countries and up to 10.4% for high-income countries. This would increase global trade by up to $1 trillion per year and create millions of new jobs.
In conclusion, the TFA is an important agreement for the global trade community. Its implementation will simplify and streamline customs procedures, reduce trade costs, and enhance cooperation between customs officials. The TFA is a step towards a more transparent, predictable, and inclusive global trading system, which benefits all countries, particularly the developing and least developed ones.