WTO rules to cut red tape at customs coming into force

WTO rules to cut red tape at customs coming into force

Content provided by EuroCommerce - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation finally entered into force last week with the required number of ratifications by Member States being reached.

One trillion Euro boost

This is the culmination of years of lobbying by EuroCommerce and like-minded allies worldwide. EuroCommerce led the debate in pointing to the vast amount of red tape that still faces businesses moving goods across borders, with a disproportionate burden on SMEs. WTO members concluded negotiations on a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) addressing these barriers in 2013.

 

The Agreement now in force expedites the movement, release and clearance of goods, provides for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on compliance issues, and for technical assistance and capacity building. The Agreement will massively benefit European wholesalers and retailers, who depend on global value chains. It is also a good day for developing countries, whose exports will be able to pass customs more quickly and cheaply, making trade work for economic growth and social wellbeing.

 

It is more important than ever that the international trade rule book keeps pace with a rapidly changing business environment. The TFA is critically important to this process, reducing the cost and time of moving goods across national borders. It will help improve transparency, increase countries’ opportunities for participating in global value chains, and reduce the scope for corruption. It was the first Agreement concluded at the WTO by all of its members.

 

According to the WTO, it will boost global trade by up to one trillion Euros each year – an impact bigger than the elimination of all existing tariffs around the world.