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Sri Lanka Ratifies WTO's Trade Facilitation Pact

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

07 June 2016


Sri Lanka has become the latest member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ratify the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the WTO has announced.

Sri Lanka's ambassador to the WTO, R D Susiri Kumararatne, presented his country's instrument of acceptance to Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on May 31, the WTO said. This followed the submission of Sri Lanka's "Category A" notification to the WTO on July 31, 2014, indicating which provisions of the TFA it intends to implement upon entry into force of the agreement.

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, assistance and support is to be provided to help least-developed countries implement the TFA.

Implementation of the TFA has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to USD1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO's World Trade Report, released on October 26, 2015.

The TFA will enter into force when two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the agreement. Sri Lanka's acceptance takes the total number of TFA ratifications to 81.

TAGS: tax | Sri Lanka | agreements | trade

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