Trade Facilitation Agreement

Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries
The New WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
In December 2013 WTO Members concluded negotiations on a new Trade
Facilitation Agreement aimed at expediting te mo!ement" release and clearance o#
goods and impro!ing customs cooperation$ Te Agreement contains uni%ue special and
di##erential treatment &'DT( measures tat lin) te re%uirement to implement wit te
capacit* o# de!eloping countries to do so$ It also recogni+es te need #or donor
Members to enance assistance and support #or capacit* building$
Implementation of the Agreement
Te Agreement will enter into #orce wen it as been rati#ied b* two tirds o# te
WTO Membersip$ ,owe!er" te 'DT pro!isions allow eac de!eloping countr* to
determine wen te* will implement eac o# te indi!idual pro!isions as well as tose
pro!isions #or wic te* will need tecnical assistance and support #or capacit* building
in order to implement$
To ta)e ad!antage o# tese 'DT #lexibilities a Member must place eac pro!ision o#
te Agreement into one o# tree categories &A" - or .( as de#ined below$ Te* must
noti#* WTO Members o# tese categori+ations in accordance wit speci#ic timelines
outlined in te Agreement$ Te* must also pro!ide indicati!e" and later de#initi!e" dates
#or implementation #or te pro!isions te* a!e designated in categories - and .$ &'ee
timeline below$(
• Category A pro!isions tat a de!eloping countr* Member will be implement b*
te time te Agreement enters into #orce
• Category ! pro!isions tat will be implemented on a date a#ter a transitional
period o# time a#ter entr* into #orce o# te Agreement
• Category C pro!isions tat will be implemented a#ter a transitional period o#
time #ollowing te entr* into #orce o# te Agreement and re%uiring te ac%uisition
o# implementation capacit* troug te pro!ision o# assistance and support #or
capacit* building$
Additional Fle"i#ilities for $DCs
Te Agreement also pro!ides additional protections #or /D. Members suc as0
• %arly Warning &echanism0 wereb* a Member can re%uest an extension #rom
te WTO Trade Facilitation .ommittee i# it experiences di##iculties in implementing
a pro!ision in .ategor* - or . b* te date it ad noti#ied$ Te extension will be
automatic i# te additional time re%uested does not exceed 11 monts
• %"pert 'roup0 were a re%uested extension as not been granted and a Member
lac)s capacit* to implement" Te TF committee will establis an 2xpert 3roup to
examine te issue and to ma)e a recommendation
• Shifting #etween Categories Members ma* si#t pro!isions between
.ategories - and .
• 'race (eriod Following entr* into #orce o# te Agreement de!eloping countries
will not be sub4ect to te Dispute 'ettlement 5nderstanding #or a period o# 2
*ears #or .ategor* A pro!isions$
Transparency provisions
Donors must pro!ide to te WTO Trade Facilitation .ommittee0
• Annual in#ormation on teir assistance programs
• contact points #or teir agencies responsible #or pro!iding assistance
• in#ormation on te process and mecanisms #or re%uesting assistance and
support
De!eloping .ountr* Members must pro!ide to te .ommittee0
• In#ormation on contact points o# te o##ice&s( responsible #or coordinating and
prioriti+ing assistance and support
To $earn &ore
www$wto$org &Trade Topics6Trade Facilitation(
De!eloping .ountries0 7oti#ication #or all categories o# pro!isions
Notify A)!)C
categories *
indicative
implementation
dates for
categories ! *C
&em#er and
donor inform of
TAC!
arrangements
for Cat+ C
Notify definitive
implementation
dates for Cat+ !
provisions
Notify
,+ progress in
provision of TAC!
-+ definitive dates
for implementation
Entry into force of
TFA
(when 2/3 of Members
ratify)
1 year
2 years
2.5 years
Category !
Category C
All Categories