Challenges for Implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement

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The adoption of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation in December 2013 was a historic moment for the WTO, being the first multilateral agreement adopted since the conclusion of the Uruguay Round. Nevertheless, its ratification process by national parliaments of WTO Member States is proving challenging, despite evidence proving the link between the adoption of trade facilitation measures and the reduction of trade costs. The main challenges faced by WTO Member States are linked to cumbersome constitutional requirements of treaty ratification, the need to make changes in domestic legislation, the challenges of providing detailed costing of TFA implementation to the government, the lack of political interest, the lack of private sector involvement in the preparation for ratification, and high costs of implementation may be deterring factors for governments willing to engage in the TFA’s ratification process.

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