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The EU and the WTO | Brussels, 9 September 2015

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement gets the EU Parliament’s green light

In a plenary vote today, the European Parliament provided consent to the EU’s ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The deal involving all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is expected to simplify and modernise customs procedures around the world, help small businesses access new export opportunities and play a significant role in increasing developing countries' involvement in global value chains.

For the benefits to materialise, the agreement needs first to be ratified and implemented. Only sixteen countries have completed the ratification, since the end of negotiations in December 2013. The EU would show its leadership in the process by completing the ratification procedure with a Council's vote by the beginning of October.

The EU had set a target of up to €400 million over five years to assist developing countries in bringing the agreement into effect. The European Union will help finance reforms and projects improving the customs systems of developing and least developed countries, as part of its "Aid for Trade" engagement.

Results of the vote

More information on Trade Facilitation Agreement
On the WTO website
The Bali decision, 11 August 2014

More information on Doha Development Agenda
On the European Commission website