The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force on 22 February 2017 to much public acclaim. WTO Director General Azevêdo called this a milestone for the WTO and the multilateral trading agreement, as the Agreement is set to make a big difference for growth and development, by cutting trade costs globally by an average of 14,3%.
The Agreement is the most comprehensive of existing legal trade facilitation instruments; it binds all WTO Members (* de jure it is only binding on those Members that have accepted the Protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement) and the rules covers all import, export and transit formalities and procedures.
The objective of the Agreement is to further expedite the movement, clearance and release of goods, enhance assistance for capacity building in this area, and fostering cooperation in the field of trade facilitation and customs cooperation.
This itinerary provides an overview of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. It explains the structure of the Agreement and introduces the technical rules set out in Articles 1-12, the special and differential treatment provisions set out in Articles 13-22, and the institutional provisions set out in Article 23-24.