WTO received six additional ratifications of Trade Facilitation Agreement


The WTO has received six additional ratifications of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), bringing up to 63 the number of WTO members that have formally accepted the TFA. Several ratifications were submitted by ministers during the organization’s Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

U Win Myint, Myanmar’s Union Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, presented his country’s instrument of acceptance to Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in Nairobi on 16 December.

Børge Brende, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, also handed over his country’s instrument of acceptance to the Director-General on 16 December.

Additional instruments of acceptance were received from Viet Nam and Brunei on 15 December, and from Ukraine and Zambia on 16 December

The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement. 

The TFA broke new ground for developing and least-developed countries in the way it will be implemented. For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the Agreement was directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.

Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report released on 26 October.  Significantly, the Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.