PM Modi approved WTO’s trade facilitation pact to ease custom procedures: Ravi Shankar Prasad

NEW DELHI(PTI): The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which aims at easing customs procedures to boost commerce.

“We have approved the proposal for notification of commitment under the TFA of the WTO,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A national committee on TFA will be set up for coordinating and implementing the provisions of trade facilitation, the minister said.

The committee will be co-chaired by both Revenue Secretary and Commerce Secretary. He said the TFA will help in ease of doing business.

“TFA will contain (provisions for) movement of goods, release and clearance of goods and goods in transit,” he said.

The pact was agreed upon in at a multilateral meeting in Bali in 2013. It will take effect once two-thirds of the WTO members complete their domestic ratification process. So far 69 WTO members have ratified this pact.

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.