Traders from both developing and developed countries have long pointed to the vast amount of “red tape” that still exists in moving goods across borders, and which poses a particular burden on small and medium-sized enterprises. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. The Agreement will help improve transparency, increase possibilities to participate in global value chains, and reduce the scope for corruption.1 The TFA was the first Agreement concluded at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by all of its Members, including Kenya, and it entered into force on 22 February 2017.
Under Article 1.1 of the TFA, Member countries are required to publish trade-related information in a prompt, non-discriminatory and easily accessible manner. Article 1.2 additionally requires Member countries to publish descriptions of import, export and transit procedures through the internet.
To fulfil its obligations under the TFA, Sri Lanka has developed the step-by-step functionality; publishing the relevant information on trade procedures, making it easily accessible to all public and private actors. Much of the information required in the various provisions of Art. 1, is provided on the Portal’s step-by-step presentation of trade procedures which are accessible through the search bar on the Home page.
The purpose of this Trade Facilitation Repository (TFR) is to help users find relevant information related to each of the provisions of Article 1.1 of the TFA.
Article 1.1: Publication
(b) Applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation;
(c) Fees and charges imposed by or for governmental agencies on or in connection with importation, exportation or transit;
(d) Rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes;
(e) Laws, regulations, and administrative rulings of general application relating to rules of origin;
(f) Import, export or transit restrictions or prohibitions;
(g) Penalty provisions for breaches of import, export, or transit formalities;
(h) Procedures for appeal or review;
(i) Agreements or parts thereof with any country or countries relating to importation, exportation, or transit; and
(j) Procedures relating to the administration of tariff quotas.
Source: The Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility