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WCO Secretariat Note on state of play on NCTFs in 2021 is now available in three languages

09 noviembre 2021

Article 23.2 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) requires each WTO Member to establish and/or maintain a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of TFA provisions.

In December 2014, the WCO Policy Commission took a decision to pursue gathering further information on the situation of NCTFs and the role of Customs therein. Consequently, the WCO Secretariat carried out a survey to collect information on Members' national experiences in relation to the establishment of NCTFs. Based on capacity building needs expressed by Members and related WCO delivery experience, as well as based on the results of a WCO survey, the WCO recognized a need for enhanced guidance regarding the establishment and maintenance of NCTFs. The WCO Guidance on NCTFs was endorsed as a living document by the WCO Working Group on the WTO TFA (TFAWG) at its 4th meeting in October 2015. The Guidance focuses on the role of Customs and its involvement in the NCTFs, preconditions for its successful functioning, its duties and responsibilities including setting-up the group, developing the Terms of Reference, launch of the NCTF, establishment of the national roadmap to TFA implementation and its monitoring, as well as achievements reported by NCTFs.

The WCO Guidance on NCTFs has been published in March 2016 and can be accessed at here.

The Annual Consolidated Survey (ACS) in 2021 included a new chapter on NCTFs (Chapter 5), which was introduced with the objective of taking stock of the current state of play in this area, six years after a similar survey was last carried out. The ACS looked in particular into the challenges and opportunities observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were a total of nine questions in this Chapter. The results of the WCO Annual Consolidated Survey on NCTFs have been compiled into the Secretariat Note on Current State of Play of WCO Members in the Area of National Committees on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).

The Secretariat Note was presented to the Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) at its 233rd/234th sessions in October 2021 and the PTC supported the publication of the Secretariat Note as an Annex to the existing WCO Guidance on NCTFs.

The Secretariat Note can support the WCO Membership with practical examples for implementing Article 23.2 of the TFA. It will also be useful material to WCO Mercator Programme Advisors and the Secretariat in the provision of its technical assistance and capacity building through the Mercator Programme.

The WCO Secretariat Note on Current State of Play of WCO Members in the Area of National Committees on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) is now available on the WCO website as an annex to the Guidance in three languages; English, French and Spanish