Trade Facilitation Agreement

The Trade Facilitation Agreement came into force in 2017, when the number of member countries which ratified the agreement reached a count of 112. The main aim of the agreement was to boost global growth by reducing the cost of the transaction in terms of export and import. 

Latest Context on Trade Facilitation Agreement – TFA

  1. Over 80 participants from 23 Member administrations participated in the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Online Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which took place from 19th to 21st April 2021.
    • The Workshop was organized with the Regional Office for Capacity Building for the Asia/Pacific (ROCB A/P) and with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF) of Japan. It was aimed at discussing the success stories and the challenges Members are facing today, as well as forms of support provided through the WCO Mercator Programme.
    • the Workshop also explored how the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the international trade facilitation agenda and what measures will be particularly relevant for the successful movement of vaccines across borders.

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Members of Trade Facilitation Agreement:- Download PDF Here

Trade Facilitation Agreement – Introduction

The Trade Facilitation Agreement was introduced to simplify customs procedures by reducing costs and to improve the efficiency and speed of trade being done. The agreement basically seeks to simplify the border management programs and bring down trade barriers. It is a legally managed agreement and is considered to be one of the biggest reforms taken up by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since its establishment.

Another aim of this agreement was to make an easy and transparent movement of goods across national boundaries. The TFA intends to create a less discriminatory business environment by speeding up clearance procedures and formalities.

Trade Facilitation Agreement Significance

The Trade Facilitation Agreement came into force on 22 February 2017 and it was significant because it was the first significant agreement signed by WTO after its establishment in the year 1995. There were major reasons why the Trade Facilitation Agreement was significant for India and the other countries. Given below are a few points of significance:

  1. This agreement had made WTO a significant organization for liberalization of trade
  2. The agreement also mentions that assistance will be provided to the developing countries for the up-gradation of their infrastructure
  3. The profit in terms of trade of the different countries is expected to soar really high and result in the economic growth of the member countries. 
  4. The agreement will help improve transparency in the trade
  5. Reduce possibilities of corruption

Another important factor is the reduction in cargo release time. The target set by WTO states that the products need to be imported within 3 days in case of sea cargo and within 2 days for air cargo. For export, the target has been set as 2 days for sea cargo and the same day for air cargo.

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India and Trade Facilitation Agreement

India, in terms of economic growth, is at a very crucial junction right now. The Trade Facilitation Agreement has helped India attain a position in the world in terms of export and import of products. India has managed to redefine itself as a nation indulged in legitimate trade. The agreement has proved to be extremely beneficial for India.

The fact that the Government has accepted the trade facilitation action plan as suggested by the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF), which is to be implemented at the highest level proves that the Indian Government aims at enhancing trade facilitation. 

Members of Trade Facilitation Agreement:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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