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Seminar discusses action plan for trade facilitation agreement

Date 01/12/2016 - 09:05:00 | 127 views
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A seminar discussing action plans for the implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) took place in Hanoi on November 29.

The TFA was adopted by the WTO members at the Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013 and written into WTO rules 11 months later. The agreement aims to set out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues while enhancing technical support and capacity building in the area.     

With three sections including 24 provisions, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

It also includes Category A commitments, which will be delivered immediately upon entry into force; Category B commitments, which can be delivered 2-3 years later; and Category C commitments, for which assistance and support are needed.  

As the TFA is to come into force, participants reviewed the final list of Category A commitments regarding complaint procedures, fees, consultation; reevaluated requirements in Category B and Category C commitments, said Director of the Vietnam General Department of Customs’ International Cooperation Department Nguyen Toan. 

Asked about e-payment for exports-imports, a senior expert from the World Bank said the use of credit or ATM cards is encouraged and non-obligatory. 

Several participants proposed Vietnam launch a national e-portal to update the public about trade facilitation issues.

Vietnam was the 54th out of the 64 WTO members which approved the TFA. The agreement would come into effect when it was approved by at least two-thirds of the WTO members, or 108 member countries./.

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