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Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation: 75% of required TFA ratifications have been received
Amb. Conejos told a meeting of the Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation (PCTF) that that only five Members – Georgia, Mauritius, Malawi, Solomon Islands and Zambia – have submitted their "Category B" and "Category C" notifications. He urged members that have not done so to submit these notifications as soon as possible.
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.
The chairman noted that 87 developing and LDC members have now submitted their Category A notifications, which he described as "excellent news." The Category A notifications indicate which provisions of the TFA the members will implement upon entry into force of the Agreement, or one year after entry into force for LDCs.
All developed country members are expected to implement all TFA provisions upon entry into force of the agreement.
Mexico informed the PCTF that its Senate has ratified the TFA and that it expected to hand over its instrument of acceptance to the WTO very soon following some final internal procedures. It urged other members to make every effort to ensure the remaining 25% of ratifications could be achieved soon.
Peru said a decree ratifying the TFA has been sent to the country's president for signature and that it hoped to deposit its instrument of acceptance shortly.
Nigeria said it was making every effort to submit its B and C notifications and that it hoped to be among the members that have ratified the TFA in the not distant future. Cameroon said its notifications and ratification would be forthcoming but that it would be good to know how the financing and adjustment measures would all fall into place.
A number of Members (Brazil, Pakistan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Benin) said they appreciated the "experience sharing" session hosted by the WTO and said this should be replicated in other areas covered by the Agreement.
The PCTF is responsible for ensuring the expeditious entry into force of the Agreement and to prepare for the efficient operation of the Agreement upon its entry into force.