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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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Agreement on Trade Facilitation

Highlights of the TFA

The TFA sets out binding obligations for all WTO Members to improve and harmonise their import/export and customs formalities and procedures. It has three sections.

Section I

Section I contains provisions relating to disciplines on various import/export and customs clearance procedures which include:

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    highline01Enhance Transparency

    The TFA requires Members to promptly publish information related to the requirements and procedures for clearing goods for import or export, to publish this information on the internet, as well as to consult traders and interested parties prior to introducing new or amended laws or regulations related to the movement, release and clearance of goods.

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    highline02Prevent Arbitrary Imposition of Fees and Penalties
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    highline03Expedite Release and Clearance of Goods
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    highline04Simplify Customs Formalities and Documentation Requirements
  • Hide Items:
    highline05Enhance Customs Co-operation and Co-ordination
Section II

Section II of the TFA sets out special and differential treatment for developing and least-developed WTO Members, including more flexible implementation timetable and assistance to them for building the capacity necessary for implementing the TFA.

Section III

Section III contains provisions that establish a permanent Committee on Trade Facilitation at the WTO, and requires Members to establish a committee or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate coordination and implementation.

Full text of the TFA is available at the WTO website.