WCO continues to support Maldives in its TFA implementation journey along with the WTO and other international organizations

31 January 2023

National Trade Facilitation Agreement Workshop, organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) in cooperation with UNCTAD, the Asian Development Bank, and the WCO in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Maldives, was held from 22 to 25 January 2023 in Malé, Maldives.

Participants included members of Maldives' National Trade Facilitation Committee (NCTF), representatives from the Maldives Customs Service (MCS), other relevant ministries and private sector representatives involved in implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The first day of workshop was dedicated to the Maldives NCTF members. The objective of this session was to increase the awareness of NCTF members of the importance of the TFA, the role of NCTF in its implementation and the active role that the NCTF members have to play in this regard. The audience was made aware of the Maldives current status of implementation of the TFA based on the notifications and the WCO Mercator Diagnostic Mission findings and recommendations as well as the WCO TFA Maturity Model Assessment.

During the workshop, the participants had an opportunity to visit MCS headquarters and the Maldives port. This provided them an opportunity to observe the Customs procedures including documentation, risk assessment, ongoing work on AEO programme and to see the processes at the port.

Participants were also briefed on the WCO instruments and tools developed to facilitate international trade and to support the implementation of the TFA including the Revised Kyoto Convention, Implementation Guidance for Section I of the TFA and others. The WCO e-learning opportunities for Customs officers as well as other public and private sector stakeholders and academia were also introduced.

The Maldives Customs Service and other participants greatly appreciated and thanked the WCO for its continuous technical assistance and capacity building support provided to the MCS on their way towards implementation of trade facilitations measures.

The WCO highlighted its long term engagement with the MCS under the Multi-Year (MY) Mercator partnership aimed to assist with the implementation of the TFA and reiterated that this support will continue to be provided with some new planned activities in the coming period.