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  • Overview

    The WTO TFA asks Members to promptly publish information regarding Customs procedures, such as importation, exportation and transit procedures, applied rates of duties and taxes, and fees and charges, in a non-discriminatory and easily accessible manner.

    Chapter 9 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention is the Chapter most relevant to transparency and predictability. The provisions of this Chapter are set out in three sub-sections based on the nature of the information, i.e., information of general application, information of a specific nature, and decisions and rulings.

    The following WCO tools are also useful for the implementation of the TFA:

    • Transparency and Predictability Guidelines
    • Recommendation (1999) on the Use of World Wide Web sites by Customs administrations
    • Recommendation (2001) on the application of HS Committee decisions
    • Revised Arusha Declaration.
    • IT Guide for Executives

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    WTO TFA

    1.1 Each Member shall promptly publish the following information in a non-discriminatory and easily accessible manner in order to enable governments, traders, and other interested parties to become acquainted with them:

        (a) procedures for importation, exportation, and transit (including port, airport, and other entry-point procedures), and required forms and documents;

        (b) applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation;

        (c) fees and charges imposed by or for governmental agencies on or in connection with importation, exportation or transit;

        (d) rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes;

        (e) laws, regulations, and administrative rulings of general application relating to rules of origin;

        (f) import, export or transit restrictions or prohibitions;

        (g) penalty provisions for breaches of import, export, or transit formalities;

        (h) procedures for appeal or review;

        (i) agreements or parts thereof with any country or countries relating to importation, exportation, or transit; and

        (j) procedures relating to the administration of tariff quotas.

    1.2 Nothing in these provisions shall be construed as requiring the publication or provision of information other than in the language of the Member except as stated in paragraph 2.2.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 9 (Information, Decisions and Rulings Supplied by Customs)

    The availability of information on Customs matters to interested persons is one of the key elements of trade facilitation. This information, which must be furnished by Customs, may be general or specific. Persons often need specific information about a particular operation they intend to carry out. Sometimes the decision whether or not to proceed with the operation may depend upon the information supplied by the Customs. When such information is requested, it is the responsibility of the Customs to provide it completely and accurately and as soon as possible.

    This Chapter applies only to information supplied by the Customs and relates to information of general application, information of a specific nature, and the particular procedure by which persons may obtain tariff classification information which is binding upon the Customs. These Guidelines also contain examples of methods of application by some administrations. These are found in Appendix II to this document. For detailed comments on this Chapter, the text of the three provisions can be found below, and the Guidelines can also be uploaded using the link below.

    9.1. Standard

    The Customs shall ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person. 

    9.2. Standard

    When information that has been made available must be amended due to changes in Customs law, administrative arrangements or requirements, the Customs shall make the revised information readily available sufficiently in advance of the entry into force of the changes to enable interested persons to take account of them, unless advance notice is precluded. 

    9.3. Transitional Standard

    The Customs shall use information technology to enhance the provision of information.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex - Chapter 9 (download)

     

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    Other WCO Tools

    Transparency and Predictability Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines aim to provide Customs administrations with comprehensive and practical guidance on how to enhance and commit to their transparency and predictability, with a view to trade facilitation and integrity. The Guidelines are based on existing international standards introduced in the WTO TFA, the WCO RKC and other international agreements, and the operational practices and experiences of WCO Members. For instance, the Guidelines require Members to ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person

    Recommendation (1999) on the Use of World Wide Web sites by Customs administrations (download)

    The Recommendation sets out basic information to be made available on Customs web sites, including information for travellers and traders. It also deals with Customs contact information, including e-mail addresses to be made available to the public.

    Recommendation (2001) on the application of HS Committee Decisions (download)

    The recommendation encourages Members to publish their classification decisions on the Internet so as to make them easily available.

    Revised Arusha Declaration  (download)

    Paragraph 3 of the Revised Arusha Declaration emphasizes the importance of a high degree of certainty and predictability of Customs. It emphasizes that Customs laws, regulations, procedures and administrative guidelines should be made public.

    IT Guide for Executives (download)

    The Guide provides information and insights into the strategic management process concerning the use of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in Customs. The Guide covers the enhancement of transparency through the use of ICT.

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    Members Practices

    The Transparency and Predictability Guidelines introduces practices of the United States, Japan and Nigeria.

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    Do you publish Customs Laws regulations, procedures (including all associated regulatory documents), fee and charges imposed prior to implementation?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of information stipulated in Article 1.1 of TFA publicly available
    • No. of visits to the Webpage

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  • Overview

    The WTO TFA requires Members to make available, and update, relevant information through the internet. The information concerned relates to importation, exportation and transit procedures, the forms and documents required, and contact information on enquiry points.

    Chapter 9 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention is the Chapter most relevant to transparency and predictability. The provisions of this Chapter are set out in three sub-sections based on the nature of the information, i.e., information of general application, information of a specific nature, and decisions and rulings.

    The following WCO tools are also useful for the implementation of the TFA:

    • Transparency and predictability Guidelines
    • Recommendation (1999) on the Use of World Wide Web sites by Customs administrations
    • Recommendation (2001) on the application of HS Committee decisions.
    • IT Guide for Executives

    print this item

    WTO TFA

    2.1. Each Member shall make available, and update to the extent possible and as appropriate, the following through the internet:

        (a)    a description1 of its procedures for  importation, exportation, and transit, including procedures for appeal or review, that informs governments, traders, and other interested parties of the practical steps needed for importation, exportation, and transit;

        (b)    the forms and documents required for importation into, exportation from, or transit through the territory of that Member;

        (c)    contact information on its enquiry point(s).

    2.2. Whenever practicable, the description referred to in subparagraph 2.1(a) shall also be made available in one of the official languages of the WTO.

    2.3. Members are encouraged to make available further trade related information through the internet, including relevant trade-related legislation and other items referred to in paragraph 1.1.


    1 Each Member has the discretion to state on its website the legal limitations of this description.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 9: Information, Decisions and Rulings Supplied by the Customs

    The availability of information on Customs matters to interested persons is one of the key elements of trade facilitation. This information, which must be furnished by Customs, may be general or specific. Persons often need specific information about a particular operation they intend to carry out. Sometimes the decision whether or not to proceed with the operation may depend upon the information supplied by the Customs. When such information is requested, it is the responsibility of the Customs to provide it completely and accurately and as soon as possible.

    This Chapter applies only to information supplied by the Customs and relates to information of general application, information of a specific nature, and to the particular procedure by which persons may obtain tariff classification information which is binding upon the Customs. These Guidelines also contain examples of methods of application by some administrations. These are found in Appendix II to this document. For detailed comments on this Chapter, the text of the three provisions can be find below and the guidelines can also be uploaded using the below link.

    9.1. Standard

    The Customs shall ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person. 

    9.2. Standard

    When information that has been made available must be amended due to changes in Customs law, administrative arrangements or requirements, the Customs shall make the revised information readily available sufficiently in advance of the entry into force of the changes to enable interested persons to take account of them, unless advance notice is precluded.

    9.3. Transitional Standard

    The Customs shall use information technology to enhance the provision of information.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex - Chapter 9 (download)

     

    print this item

    Other WCO Tools

    Transparency and Predictability Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines aim to provide Customs administrations with comprehensive and practical guidance on how to enhance and commit to their transparency and predictability, with a view to trade facilitation and integrity. The Guidelines are based on existing international standards introduced in the WTO TFA, the WCO RKC and other international agreements, and the operational practices and experiences of WCO Members. For instance, the Guidelines require Members to ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person

    Recommendation (1999) on the Use of World Wide Web sites by Customs administrations (download)

    The Recommendation sets out basic information to be made available on Customs web sites, including information for travellers and traders. It also describes contact information of Customs, including email addresses to be made available to the public.

    Recommendation (2001) on the application of HS Committee Decisions (download)

    The recommendation encourages Members to publish their classification decisions on the Internet so as to make them easily available.

    IT Guide for Executives (download)

    The Guide provides information and insights into the strategic management process concerning the use of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in Customs. The Guide covers the enhancement of transparency through the use of ICT.

    print this item

    Member Practices

    The Transparency and Predictability Guidelines introduces practices of the United States, Japan and Nigeria.

    print this item

    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you make available on the internet information on importation, exportation, transit and appeal procedures (including all associated regulatory documents), fees and charges?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of information stipulated in Article 1.1 of the TFA publicly available on the internet
    • No. of visits to the Webpage

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  • Overview

    The WTO TFA requires Members to establish or maintain one or more enquiry points within their available resources.  The enquiry points must answer enquiries and provide the forms and documents for importation, exportation and transit, within a reasonable time period.

    The ICT Guidelines (RKC Guidelines on the General Annex, Chapter 7) give detailed guidance on the set-up of a help desk. Chapter 9 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention also contains standards requiring Customs to provide specific information or decisions as quickly as possible and with sufficient detail.

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    WTO TFA

    3.1. Each Member shall, within its available resources, establish or maintain one or more enquiry points to answer reasonable enquiries of governments, traders and other interested parties on matters covered by paragraph 1.1 and to provide the required forms and documents referred to in subparagraph 1.1(a).

    3.2. Members of a customs union or involved in regional integration may establish or maintain common enquiry points at the regional level to satisfy the requirement of paragraph 3.1 for common procedures.

    3.3. Members are encouraged not to require the payment of a fee for answering enquiries and providing required forms and documents. If any, Members shall limit the amount of their fees and charges to the approximate cost of services rendered.

    3.4. The enquiry points shall answer enquiries and provide the forms and documents within a reasonable time period set by each Member, which may vary depending on the nature or complexity of the request.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 7 (Application of Information Technology)

    The ICT Guidelines (RKC Guidelines on the General Annex, Chapter 7) give detailed guidance on the set-up of a help desk and its components (see 5.8 of the Guidelines).  The guidance covers the value and necessity of having a help desk in the Customs administration, and describes in detail how to set up a help desk.

    ICT Guideline  (download)

    General Annex - Chapter 9 (Information, Decisions and Rulings Supplied by Customs)

    The availability of information on Customs matters to interested persons is one of the key elements of trade facilitation.  This information, which must be furnished by Customs, may be general or specific.  Persons often need specific information about a particular operation they intend to carry out.  Sometimes the decision whether or not to proceed with the operation may depend upon the information supplied by the Customs.  When such information is requested, it is the responsibility of the Customs to provide it completely and accurately and as soon as possible.

    Interested parties often need information or decisions about specific activities which they are considering or intending to carry out. Sometimes the decision whether or not to proceed may depend on information supplied by Customs. Standards 9.4 and 9.8 require Customs to provide such specific information or decisions as quickly as possible and with sufficient detail.

    9.4. Standard
    At the request of the interested person, the Customs shall provide, as quickly and as accurately as possible, information relating to the specific matters raised by the interested person and pertaining to Customs law.

    9.5. Standard
    The Customs shall supply not only the information specifically requested but also any other pertinent information which they consider the interested person should be made aware of.

    9.6. Standard
    When the Customs supply information, they shall ensure that they do not divulge details of a private or confidential nature affecting the Customs or third parties unless such disclosure is required or authorized by national legislation.

    9.7. Standard
    When the Customs cannot supply information free of charge, any charge shall be limited to the approximate cost of the services rendered.

    9.8. Standard
    At the written request of the person concerned, the Customs shall notify their decision in writing within a period specified in national legislation. Where the decision is adverse to the person concerned, the reasons shall be given and the right of appeal advised.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 9  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Transparency and Predictability Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines aim to provide Customs administrations with comprehensive and practical guidance on how to enhance and commit to their transparency and predictability, with a view to trade facilitation and integrity. The Guidelines are based on existing international standards introduced in the WTO TFA, the WCO RKC and other international agreements, and the operational practices and experiences of WCO Members. For instance, the Guidelines require Members to ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person

    print this item

    Member Practices

    Centers of Excellence and Expertise (United States) (download)

    Customs Counselor System (Japan) (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you have one or more enquiry points to answer enquiries of interested parties?

    Quantitative indicators

    • Average times between receipt of enquires and issuance of answers
    • No. of answers issued per year

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  • Overview

    The WTO TFA requires Members to give notification of the official place(s) where information has been published. The URLs of websites publishing information must also be notified.

    Chapter 9 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention is the Chapter most relevant to transparency and predictability.  The provisions of this Chapter are set out in three sub-sections based on the nature of the information, i.e., information of general application, information of a specific nature, and decisions and rulings.

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    WTO TFA

    Each Member shall notify the Committee on Trade Facilitation established under paragraph 1.1 of Article 23 (referred to in this Agreement as the "Committee") of:

        (a)    the official place(s) where the items in subparagraphs 1.1(a) to (j) have been published;

        (b)    the Uniform Resource Locators of website(s) referred to in paragraph 2.1; and

        (c)    the contact information of the enquiry points referred to in paragraph 3.1.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 9(Information, Decisions and Rulings Supplied by the Customs)

    The availability of information on Customs matters to interested persons is one of the key elements of trade facilitation.  This information, which must be furnished by Customs, may be general or specific.  Persons often need specific information about a particular operation they intend to carry out.  Sometimes the decision whether or not to proceed with the operation may depend upon the information supplied by the Customs.  When such information is requested, it is the responsibility of the Customs to provide it completely and accurately and as soon as possible.

    This Chapter applies only to information supplied by the Customs and relates to information of general application, information of a specific nature, and to the particular procedure by which persons may obtain tariff classification information which is binding upon the Customs.  These Guidelines also contain examples of methods of application by some administrations.  These are found in Appendix II to this document. For detailed comments on this Chapter, the text of the three provisions can be find below and the guidelines can also be uploaded using the below link.

    9.1. Standard

    The Customs shall ensure that all relevant information of general application pertaining to Customs law is readily available to any interested person.

    9.2. Standard

    When information that has been made available must be amended due to changes in Customs law, administrative arrangements or requirements, the Customs shall make the revised information readily available sufficiently in advance of the entry into force of the changes to enable interested persons to take account of them, unless advance notice is precluded.

    9.3. Transitional Standard

    The Customs shall use information technology to enhance the provision of information.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 9  (download)

    print this item

    Other WCO Tools

    Recommendation (1999) on the Use of World Wide Web sites by Customs administrations (download)

    The Recommendation sets out basic information to be made available on Customs web sites, including information for travellers and traders.  It also deals with Customs contact information, including e-mail addresses to be made available to the public.

    print this item

    Member Practices

    Performance Indicators