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Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation - Members urged to hand in outstanding notifications
At the most recent meeting of the WTO's Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation on 24 November, the chair Ambassador Mariam Md Salleh (Malaysia) noted that "intense efforts are finally about to bear fruit".
Besides remarking on the number of TFA ratifications, the chair also reported that there are now 90 submissions of Category A notifications and only six notifications each for Categories B and C, which represent flexibilities for developing countries.
"With that moment (of the TFA’s entry into force) now being not far away — and getting closer with every deposited acceptance instrument — I urge all delegations which have not yet tabled their Category B and C notifications to hand them in as soon as possible," the chair said.
Category B covers Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) commitments that a developing or least-developed country member will implement after a transitional period following the entry into force of the agreement, while Category C covers commitments that a developing or LDC member will implement after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement and that require technical assistance and capacity-building support to implement.
Notifications on Category B and C commitments are to be submitted by developing countries upon entry into force of the TFA, with LDCs given an additional year after entry into force to submit their notifications.