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May 16, 2017
WTO committee will help with implementation of trade facilitation agreement
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) gathered on May 16 for the inaugural meeting of the Committee on Trade Facilitation, the body responsible for overseeing implementation of the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The committee will develop procedures for the sharing of relevant information and best practices among members. After four years, the committee will review the operation and implementation of the TFA.
Since its entry into force, six additional WTO members - Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Armenia, Fiji, Costa Rica and Sierra Leone - have submitted their instruments of TFA acceptance to the WTO. This brings up to 118 the number of WTO members that have ratified the Agreement.
The TFA will help expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders. Full implementation of the TFA is forecast to slash members' trade costs by an average of 14.3 per cent, with developing countries having the most to gain, according to a 2015 study carried out by WTO economists. The TFA is also likely to reduce the time needed to import goods by over a day and a half and to export goods by almost two days, representing a reduction of 47 per cent and 91 per cent respectively over the current average.
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