Trade Facilitation

A Handbook for Trade Negotiators

Paperback: £60.00

Trade Facilitation

Publication date: 1 March 2007
Size: 253mm x 190mm
ISBN: 978-0-85092-855-6
Pages: 208

Trade facilitation has formed a part of the WTO work programme since 1996, though no significant progress has yet been made in launching negotiations, mainly due to the opposition of a number of developing countries. Following the failed Cancun meeting in 2003, WTO members formally agreed to commence negotiations on trade facilitation.

The main aim of the trade facilitation negotiations on is to clarify and improve the provisions of three GATT 1994 articles, on freedom of transit, on fees and formalities connected with importation and exportation, and on the publication and administration of trade regulations, with a view to expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods through customs.

The negotiations also aim at providing technical assistance to developing and least developed countries with a view to strengthening their technical capacities for the application of innovative techniques and methods in the clearance of goods, and for the gradual acceptance of the obligations and new rules that may be adopted in the Doha Round.

This book provides background information and identifies the points that may need further examination by the negotiating parties. It also contains suggestions on how the negotiating approaches adopted under other WTO Agreements (such as the Agreement on Customs Valuation, Rules of Origin, Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures), could be taken into account while developing new rules in this area.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

Dr Moustapha Kamal Gueye is Senior Associate at ICTSD. He holds a PhD and a MA in International Cooperation Studies from Nagoya University, Japan and a post graduate degree and LLM in International Economic Law from the University of Dakar, Senegal. He is the author of numerous reports and articles on trade and sustainable development and was the co-editor of 'Linking Trade, Climate Change and Energy' (ICTSD 2006).
Isabella Kataric (Author)
Malena Sell is Environment and Agriculture Senior Programme Officer and a member of the Trade, Environment and Natural Resources team at ICTSD. Previously, Ms Sell worked as team leader and writer at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin. She holds an MA in Environmental Studies and a BA in International Relations (international commerce), both from Brown University.

PART ONE. Background and Context

1. Historical background of the inclusion of the subject of trade facilitation and the mandate for negotiations
2. Description of the trade facilitation work undertaken by selected international and regional organisations

PART TWO. Legal Forms, Codification and the Modalities for the Negotiations

3. Legal forms for the codification of the rules and modalities for negotiations on rule making
4. Technical assistance and capacity building
5. The Extension of Special and Differential (S&D) Treatment to developing countries in accepting obligations under the Agreement
6. Dispute settlement
7. The 'Single Undertaking' concept and the continuation of the negotiations after the conclusion of the Round. A possible structure of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation

PART THREE. Trade Policy Issues

8. Publication obligations
9. The level of fees connected with importation and exportation
10. The establishment of appeals procedures at the national level
11. The simplification of formalities and procedures
12. The establishment of a mechanism for the exchange of customs related information among WTO member countries
13. Preshipment inspection

PART FOUR. Techniques and Methods used by Customs in the Clearance of Goods

14. Risk management and other techniques in the clearance of goods: authorised importers and exporters
15. Facilitating the release of goods through customs: pre-arrival clearance, one time shop, and single window clearance

PART FIVE. Transit Trade and Landlocked Countries

16. Transit trade and landlocked countries


About the contributors Expand or collapse me

Vinod Rege (Author)

Vinod Rege is a former Director at GATT, and until 2008 was a Geneva-based Multilateral Trade Adviser on WTO issues, responsible for providing assistance and advice to 24 member countries of the Geneva Group of Commonwealth Developing Countries.

Isabella Kataric (Author)

Isabella Kataric is a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat on the Joint Project, Commonwealth-ITC (UNCTAD/WTO).