The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit and 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. On 22 February 2017 WTO obtained the necessary number of acceptance instruments for the TFA to enter into force.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda specifically:
- Calls on WTO members to expeditiously ratify the Agreement on Trade Facilitation
Since the entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, 148 of 164 WTO members, representing 90 per cent, have ratified the TFA. Significant progress has also been achieved in its implementation. An estimated 64.7 per cent of notifiable commitments are being implemented, based on members’ notifications to the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee (TFC).
In addition to those members that are already implementing the TFA in full, all developing countries now have roadmaps for the implementation of the Agreement. These members had to notify the committee of their individual plans for full implementation of the TFA, based on the unique flexibilities provided by the Agreement, by August 2019. To support developing-country implementation efforts, the WTO has established the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF), funded by WTO members on a voluntary basis. Its main goals are to assist developing-country and LDC members in submitting notifications to the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee in a timely fashion, and to establish and reinforce national trade facilitation committees to coordinate implementation of the Agreement. For example, TFAF supported WTO developing-country and LDC members to submit a total of more than fifty notifications to the WTO TFC within six weeks of the respective TFAF event.