Trade Facilitation Agreement Provisions

For the provisions known as Category B and C, the member must indicate dates for the implementation of the provisions. Contains provisions to expedite the transfer, release and release of goods, including goods in transit. It specifies and improves the relevant articles (V, VIII and X) of the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It also contains provisions on customs cooperation. Section I is the most important part of the agreement that contains TF measures, some of which are commonly referred to as « Best Endeavor » or « Best Efforts. » These include phrases such as: « Members… « to the extent possible or possible, » « as far as possible, » « encouraged, » « if necessary, » « must make efforts, » etc. Although all measures in the agreement are binding on all members (Article 24.2), the « Best Conclusion » provisions offer some degree of flexibility in implementation. The 2014 Trade Facilitation Agreement was confirmed in December 2013 at the Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia. [1] After nearly 20 years of negotiations, the agreement was officially extended on 27 December 2014 to the membership of the 160-member World Trade Organization (WTO).

[1] However, the agreement will not be ratified until two-thirds of the members have informed the WTO of their agreement. For the WTO, the agreement can be seen as a historic achievement, given that it is the first multilateral agreement since the creation of the WTO in 1995. The 2014 Trade Facilitation Agreement is a global multilateral initiative to streamline strict procedures governing international trade. The agreement focuses mainly on many positive effects on developed and least developed countries. The Trade Facilitation Agreement is estimated to reduce trade costs by an average of 14.5%. In return, it would improve world trade by a trillion dollars. [1] This reduction in bureaucratic bureaucracy will have a positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises and will facilitate trade and membership in global value chains. One of the most important aspects of this agreement is the new principle that the commitments made by developing and least developed countries in implementing the provisions of the agreement will be conditional on the acquisition of the necessary technical capabilities.

[1] LDCs can benefit from this exemption even longer. After the entry into force, i.e. until 22 February 2023, LDCs will be given an additional six years for the designation of Category A; while the additional time is eight years for the names of Categories B and C, which are counted after the application of these provisions. However, these countries should, at their request, provide an appropriate opportunity for consultation during the additional period to discuss implementation issues. To date, the TFA has been cited once in a consultation requested by Ukraine against the Russian Federation. In the two years since it came into force, 141 out of 164 countries have ratified the agreement, representing 86% of WTO membership (the TFA being applied on the basis of the most favoured nations). 12 of the other 22 countries are LDCs. Nine countries have not ratified the TFA and have not communicated the commitments of Categories A, B and C.