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Development | Brussels, 26 June 2015

EU welcomes UNCTAD initiative to assist developing countries in ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement

The European Union welcomes the new vehicle to help developing countries speed up ratification and adoption of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

The new initiative launched by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will play an important role in responding to domestic legal and capacity constraints signalled by developing countries. It should provide them with all the necessary guidance for the swift ratification of the agreement.

The EU, on its side, will support the implementation of the developing country commitments with financial help of €400 million over five years, a third of developing countries’ total estimated needs.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO Members deposited their acts of acceptance. Australia, Botswana, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore and the US, have already done so. The European Union aims also to complete the procedure still well before the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Nairobi, Kenya, in December this year.

Background

The Trade Facilitation Agreement concluded at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in December 2013 contains provisions for making trade easier by expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other authorities involved in customs issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building.


For more information

Trade Facilitation Agreement

EU and the WTO