Hours of waiting, unacceptable custom fees, never ending
formalities, lack of legal protection, vague domestic regulations
are known to be main obstacles to international trade. With a
view to tackling these problems, Member States of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) adopted a Protocol of Amendment to insert the
Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement on
27 November 2014.
The main purpose of the Trade Facilitation Agreement is to
expedite movement, release and clearance of goods by means of
harmonising import, export and transit rules of each and every
member state. The agreement aims at simplifying border formalities
as well as reducing fees/charges for customs processing. In fact,
according to WTO, this Agreement could reduce trade costs up to 15
percent. The importance of transparency is highlighted on many
occasions, especially in cases of inspections by competent
authorities and detention of goods at the borders. Member States
will also be obliged to provide for appeal against administrative
decisions at all times. A further appeal mechanism is set forth as
a harness in cases of undue delays or lapse of set periods in
appeal procedures. It should also be noted that previous
commitments such as impartiality and non-discrimination are
safeguarded once more.
The decision of Turkish Council of Ministers to officially
approve the Trade Facilitation Agreement has been published on the
Official Gazette on 07.03.2016. Turkey is expected to notify the
WTO in the near future. The Agreement will enter into force once
two thirds of WTO Members complete ratification process. However,
the efficacy of the new infrastructure will be achieved once the
domestic implementation processes are finalised.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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