WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement enters into force

Posted on: 23/02/2017

Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organization, announced that the 2/3 requirement of ratifications has been fulfilled, thereby enabling the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to enter into force yesterday, 22 February 2017. After the Protocol of Amendment was approved on 27 November 2014, it only took 2 years, 2 months and a few weeks for 2/3 of WTO Members to ratify the TFA. It is not only a record for this type of international agreement, but also a clear demonstration of the high degree of interest surrounding the issue, including its huge potential to reduce trade costs

Rwanda, Oman, Chad and Jordan submitted their instruments of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, bringing the total number of ratifications over the required threshold of 110. Read More

This multilateral agreement 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 agencies. This is, obviously, not the end of the story. Hard work still lies ahead to ensure that the TFA is fully implemented by all Members.

Fortunately, there are a large number of technical assistance and capacity build programs that are provided by the WTO, WTO members and other intergovernmental organizations, including the The World Bank Group Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, the World Customs Organization, International Trade Centre, and UNCTAD.


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