2nd Meeting of the TFA Working Group agrees to progress the trade facilitation agenda

06 octubre 2014

The 2nd Meeting of the WCO Working Group on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFAWG) was held in Brussels from 29 to 30 September 2014. The Meeting attracted over 170 delegates from Customs, trade ministries and different governmental agencies, international organizations including the WTO, donor institutions, the private sector and academia.

The Meeting was opened by the WCO Secretary General Mr. Kunio Mikuriya who stressed that conclusion of the TFA had created political momentum and support for trade facilitation, in response to which the WCO launched its Strategic Initiative to Support Trade Facilitation (Mercator Programme) at the WCO Council Sessions in June 2014 in the presence of the WTO DG, Mr. Roberto Azevedo.

WCO Members, the Private Sector and Donor Institutions expressed full support for the implementation of global trade facilitation standards at national, regional and global level, despite the current stalemate in the WTO. The TFAWG discussed and shared experiences on categorization of WTO commitments and on establishing national trade facilitation committees, as well as on the role of information technologies in implementing the provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Coordination with other border agencies was discussed, too, as were regional approaches in facilitating cross-border movements, publication policies, advance rulings and other relevant topics. The WCO further shared with the delegates an update on the Implementation Guidance web tool that is freely available on the WCO webpage.

You can read the executive summary of the TFAWG meeting HERE.