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Implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation by Ukraine

Agreement on simplification of the WTO trade procedures

*the “Bali package” is a series of decisions aimed at simplification and facilitating trade, providing the developing countries with more opportunities in order to provide the food security, stimulate the trade of the least developed countries and promote development in general was accepted at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference (Bali Island, Indonesia) on the 3rd-7th of December 2013. The key achievement of this Conference was the adoption of the new multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the TFA) that is aimed to systematize and simplify customs procedures, including the exchange of documents, improve the transparency of the controlling measures, promote the efficiency of trade in general and the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses, in particular (preparation for the approval of the text of this Agreement lasted more than nine years).

The main task of the Agreement is the introduction of effective mechanisms for accelerating the customs clearance of goods, reducing corruption and bureaucracy, increasing trade volumes and noticeable reduction in the cost on the transportation of goods.

 

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was ratified by Ukraine on 11.04.2015 (Law of Ukraine “On ratification of the Protocol on amendments to the Marrakech Agreement on the Establishing the World Trade Organization” dated November 4, 2015 under No. 745-VIII).

Facts of the signing and ratification of the TFA have confirmed commitment of Ukraine to the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the readiness for its implementation in practice since the validity of this agreement.

Coordinator on the implementation of the provisions prescribed in the Agreement by Ukraine – by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, published that the Agreement is:

-the transparency and appealing (publication / internet, information points and consultations, preliminary decisions, right to appeal);

-the transit (restrictions on fees and charges, use of guarantees);

-the import and export (previous decision on the admission of the goods, risk management, audit after the customs clearance, publication of the average release time, authorized economic operators, cooperation of the customs and border control, viewing formalities and documents system of the “single window”, separation of the release of goods from the customs clearance).

Agreement consists of 3 Sections; Section I contains 12 Articles on the customs clearance, transit and access to information; Section II contains 10 Articles on the implementation of principles prescribed in the Agreement by the developing countries and least developed countries; Section III - contains 2 Articles – the Final Provisions (creation of the National Committee for Trade Facilitation).

Agreement became valid after its ratification by two-thirds of the WTO members (110 out of 164) that took place on the 22nd of February, 2017. Ratification of the TFA by Ukraine has significantly improved its image in the WTO and became a positive signal of Ukrainian seriousness and intentions to improve its trade and investment climate for the international trade and investment community.

Period required on the implementation of the Agreement and the validity of individual provisions is determined individually for each developing country and the least developed countries, depending on the categories of commitments:

-category A – provisions that the member state has defined on the implementation since the validity of the Agreement (or within one year from the date of validity of the Agreement for the least developed countries) - Ukraine notifies individual measures of the WTO TFA for the category A as of 14.08.2014;

-category B – provisions determined by the member state on the implementation after the transitional period necessary for its implementation;

-category C – provisions for the member state that needs a period and appropriate technical assistance for the formation or strengthening of appropriate capabilities on the implementation.

Notification by the categories B and C under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement with Ukraine was made on the 4th of January, 2018.