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IATA To Support WTO's Trade Facilitation Pact

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

20 May 2015

The International Air Transport Association has committed to support countries to implement the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement, in an agreement signed with the United Nations.

Once it enters into force, 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.

The agreement is expected to significantly boost the air cargo industry. It is estimated that the agreement can cut trade costs by almost 14.5 percent for low-income countries, and by 10 percent for high-income countries, forming part of international efforts under the Doha Round, which would cut tax barriers to trade on a global basis.

Specifically for air cargo, countries implementing the agreement will need to build capacity to facilitate automated and smart border solutions and secure supply chain processes. Through the MoU, IATA and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe will help developing countries implement the relevant measures to realize the cost savings.

Specific areas of collaboration include:

  • Joint promotion of the use of international recommendations, standards and best practices;
  • Joint outreach activities to support countries in their implementation of these recommendation and standards;
  • Consultation and cooperation on these activities with other international institutions, including the World Customs Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, UNCTAD, the International Trade Center, the OECD, and the International Chamber of Commerce.

"The air cargo industry ships around 35 percent of global trade by value. For up to 90 percent of the 'transport' time the goods may actually be on the ground waiting to be processed," Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO, said. "Aligning regulation and procedures with global standards and best practices has the potential to deliver major efficiency gains. That's the aim of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which presents a great opportunity for our industry to reduce these delays and costs, particularly in developing countries.

"Together with UNECE, we will work with developing countries to simplify their procedures and enhance their facilities. This is a win-win scenario for everyone – the industry, economies, and local communities."

TAGS: tax | export duty | aviation | tariffs | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | agreements | import duty | standards | regulation | trade | Europe

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