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Further Ratifications For WTO's Trade Facilitation Pact

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

07 January 2016


Lesotho and Georgia have added their names to the list of jurisdictions that have so far ratified the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The WTO Secretariat received the countries' instruments of acceptance on January 4, 2016. These two ratifications bring to 65 the number of WTO members that have formally accepted the TFA.

The TFA will create binding commitments across all WTO members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods and improve cooperation among WTO members in customs matters, forming part of international efforts under the Doha Round to cut tax barriers to trade on a global basis. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help least-developed countries (LDCs) implement the TFA.

The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement.

Implementation of the TFA has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to USD1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO's flagship World Trade Report released on October 26, 2015. Significantly, the Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.

TAGS: tax | export duty | tariffs | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | Lesotho | Georgia | import duty | trade

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