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WTO's Trade Facilitation Pact Nearer Implementation

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

18 December 2015


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has welcomed the receipt of a further six notifications from countries to have newly ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). This brings the number of countries that have endorsed the deal to 63.

Vietnam and Brunei submitted their instruments of acceptance on December 15, while Ukraine, Zambia, Norway, and Myanmar (Burma) submitted their notifications on December 16, coinciding with the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

Concluded at the WTO's 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release, and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.

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

The TFA is seen as a key part of eventually implementing the Doha Round, a global free trade pact.

Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (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. The Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.

TAGS: compliance | tax | Brunei | Burma | law | tariffs | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | Norway | Zambia | trade | Ukraine | Vietnam

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