The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) marked its first anniversary last week. The TFA entered into force on February 22, 2017 when the World Trade Organization (WTO) obtained the required two-thirds acceptance from its members.
The WTO members are continuing to work towards fully implementing the TFA. Implementation of the TFA is expected to have positive effects on international trade, with a particular emphasis on the benefit for developing and least developed countries (LDCs).
One unique component of the TFA is the ability of developing countries and LDCs to set their own timetable for implementation based on that county’s capabilities. Developed countries committed to immediate implementation of Category A commitments from the date the TFA entered into force. Developing countries and LDCs have committed to implementation of commitments that have been designated as Category A, and these countries have more time for Category B and Category C commitments.
According to the TFA Database, as of the one-year anniversary, 107 members have notified their Category A commitments, 49 their Category B commitments and 39 their Category C commitments.
The TFA aims to accelerate the movement of goods between countries by increasing the cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance. Read more about the TFA here.