United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO)is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

UNIDO's work related to trade facilitation

UNIDO’s work on Testing and Inspection is an essential building block for effective trade facilitation.
The Developing countries often do not have a functional quality infrastructure in place that can help products be tested and certified through conformity assessment procedures compliant with the requirements from developed markets/consumers/etc. The effects of such inefficient testing and inspection systems for trade facilitation imply:

  • Border Rejections
  • Economic distance to markets is higher due to delays related to conformity assessment procedures
  • Higher testing costs for the private sector
  • Lack of risk management approach associated to border operations.

This, on a larger scale, leads to loss of economic opportunity, higher transaction costs and time to access the export markets.

What we do

Trade Capacity Building activities in UNIDO aim at strengthening the capacity of countries to perform testing and inspection activities within an internationally recognized framework, so that they can respond effectively to demanding international market requirements.
Moreover, due to the importance of testing and inspection, it is a fundamental requirement foreseen by the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) (Articles 5.3, 7.9, 8 and 12.1).

How we do

UNIDO’s systematic approach to Trade Facilitation consists of:

  1. Analyse why goods are rejected at borders and publish the findings in Trade Standards Compliance Reports (TSCRs) which identify and address the bottlenecks in order to further facilitate trade
  2. Support the development of a sound country risk management system through assisting stakeholders to comply with technical regulations in order to enhance the transparency of trade procedures
  3. Assist testing, inspection and certification entities to achieve internationally recognized accreditation thus enabling them to offer their services to clients at competitive prices. This results in a cut in the production costs of local companies and reduces delays at the border
  4. Boost existing WTO TBT/SPS Enquiry Points active throughout developing regions by feeding in new information on TFA requirements and providing those involved in trading with access to an accurate and up to date information base
  5. Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to overcome TBT and SPS-related issues by tackling specific quality requirements in a particular value chain. This minimizes the economic distance travelled by goods in order to reach their market.

Some of the key UNIDO projects that generated good results were implemented in Africa, Asia and Arab region at both national and regional level.

Some of the key tools that UNIDO has developed are:

  1. Trade Capacity Building Resource Guide
  2. Series of Trade Standards Compliance reports
  3. Labnet
  4. DCED publication