Events

Workshop on Capacity Building for Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and Meeting on National Committees on Trade Facilitation

Seoul, Republic of Korea: 30 May–2 June 2017

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Public Management, Financial Sector, and Regional Cooperation Division Director Ying Qian presents to CAREC officials on the CAREC Trade Facilitation Program, highlighting projects that will assist set up and strengthen national committees on trade facilitation. (Enlarge photo)

 

As the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force on 22 February 2017, with two-thirds of WTO members ratifying the said agreement, ADB, in partnership with the Korea Customs Service (KCS) organized a 3-day workshop on Capacity Building for Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on 30 May–1 June 2017, and a meeting on National Committees on Trade Facilitation on 2 June 2017.

The workshop verified WTO TFA implementation status of CAREC member countries and categorized their commitments to the TFA provisions into A, B, or C.* Each member country accomplished a self-assessment questionnaire, and their respective representatives presented on the country’s compliance status. KCS officials shared the Republic of Korea’s experience in assessing and complying with the WTO TFA provisions, article by article. Participants drafted action plans and presented areas in need of assistance. Article 23.2 of the WTO TFA makes it mandatory for members to establish a national committee on trade facilitation (NCTF) or designate an existing mechanism to provide overall leadership and coordination in the implementation of the agreement.

CAREC officials from customs and ministries of economy participate in the Workshop on Capacity Building for Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and Meeting on the National Committees on Trade Facilitation. (Enlarge photo)

 

At the meeting, countries reported on the status of their respective NCTFs and identified areas of assistance. Generally, the existing or emerging NCTFs are led by the ministers of economy or trade, with other line agencies such as customs and sanitary and phytosanitary agencies in supporting roles.

*Category A: provisions that the member will implement by the time the Agreement enters into force (or in the case of a least-developed country, within one year after entry into force); Category B: provisions that the member will implement after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement; and Category C: provisions that the member will implement on a date after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement and requiring the acquisition of assistance and support for capacity building (World Trade Organization. The Trade Facilitation Agreement: An Overview. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfatheagreement_e.htm)

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