Past experiences with trade facilitation reforms and projects point to the usefulness of setting up a cross-government body that drives the reforms on a strategic and often also technical level. Organisations such as IATA, IMO and UNECE have since long recommended countries to set up National Trade Facilitation Bodies (NTFB), and the Trade Facilitation (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO )also calls for a national committee to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the agreement (Article 23.2) (*).
This itinerary therefore aims at providing a brief introduction to NTFB from the practical question of how to set up and sustain such a body. It presents organizational issues of structure and resources, objectives and functions of such bodies, as well as basic principles that underpin a sustainable collaboration amongst the stakeholders.
The itinerary is based on the content of two UNECE recommendations that distill experiences with trade facilitation bodies across the world. It provides a guided tour through the content of these two recommendations.
(*) Article 23.2
Each Member shall establish and/or maintain a national committee on trade facilitation or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of this Agreement.