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Annual Report 2016

Executive Summary

Introduction

Matchmaking and Funding Activities

Activities Related to Ratification and Special and Differential Treatment Notifications and Identification of Implementation Support

Implementation Support and Capacity Building

Outreach and Promotion Activities

Funds

 

1  Executive Summary

1.1  In 2016, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (herein after TFA or the Agreement) had not yet entered into force. Many developing and least developed country (LDC) Members were working on ratifying the TFA and most were preparing their category ABC notifications in order to benefit from the Agreement's implementation flexibilities. They were also working on establishing or strengthening their National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) that has the responsibility to oversee domestic coordination and implementation of the TFA; including preparation of the notifications.

1.2  The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF or the Facility) conducted a range of activities to assist WTO Members in these areas as well as meeting other objectives of the TFAF as set out in paragraph 24 of the TFAF Operational Guidelines and the 2016 Facility work plan (available at www.tfafacility.org). These other objectives include: providing a platform for information on the TFA, helping Members find information on donor programs, enhancing awareness of the TFA and its benefits and requirements, enhancing coordination and cooperation of implementing organizations, and developing a grant program that will help Member's with implementation needs.

1.3  In order to advance work towards achieving these objectives the Facility conducted many events in 2016. Highlights of these events include:

  1. three national and five regional workshops to assist Members to gain a better understanding of the TFA- with a strong focus on the ratification and notification requirements;
  2. development of a series of courses intended to build the capacity of officials that are responsible for the operation of their National Trade Facilitation Committee;
  3. two thematic workshops. One on donor support and the other on establishing or maintaining a national trade facilitation Committee;
  4. matchmaking by providing information on available donor support, and putting members in direct contact with potential sources of implementation support;
  5. expansion of information on the TFAF website. Use of the website grew from an average of 1800 to of 3000 unique visitors per month.
  6. creation of Newsbytes news alert to inform subscribers of TFA news;
  7. development of operational rules for TFAF project preparation and project implementation grants.
  8. The work of the TFAF was enhanced by strong support and cooperation from partner organizations such as the ITC, OECD, UNCTAD, UNECE, the World Bank Group, and the World Customs Organization, as well as other international and regional organizations and donor Members. The TFAF also benefited from donations from Austria, the European Community, Finland, and Norway for a total of 2,268,892.44 CHF in new funding.(See "Funds" on page 15 for information on donors and funding that was carried over from previous years.)

2 Introduction

2.1  The Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force in February 2017 when two thirds (110) of the 164 Members ratified the TFA and notified the WTO by providing an instrument of acceptance. During 2016, 39 Members provided their instrument of acceptance bringing the total to 103 by the end of the year.

2.2  The TFA allows developing and least developed countries to determine when they will implement each of the trade facilitation measures in the Agreement. To take advantage of the implementation flexibilities, a Member must notify each provision of the TFA under one of three categories (A, B, and C) as described in Box 1. During 2016, 16 Members provided their category A notifications[1], six Members provided category B and C notifications. This brought the total to 90 category A and six B and C notifications by the end of the year.

2.3  The WTO Facility was created at the request of developing and LDC Members to help Members to take advantage of these implementation flexibilities and to find the assistance they need to reap the full benefits of the new WTO TFA.

2.4  The Facility has been in operation since 28 November 2014 (the date the TFA Protocol of Amendment was agreed by Members). Its responsibilities, method of operation and a logistical framework are set out in the Operational Guidelines

  1. Have a better understanding of the TFA provisions and requirements;
  2. Prepare and submit TFA Section II category A, B and C commitment notifications;
  3. Complete domestic procedures to make the TFA legally binding;
  4. Secure implementation support.

[1] In addition, one Member provided additional category A commitments through an addendum to their original notification.

[2] Operational guidelines available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/operational-guidelines.

2.5  The Facility is managed by WTO Secretariat staff in the Market Access Division. In 2016 the Facility staff included one professional, one program officer, and one intern. Additionally one secretary and one webmaster were shared with the Secretariat staff that supports the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee.

Category A, B and C Notifications

To benefit from SDT, a Member must notify the other WTO Members of when it will implement each trade facilitation measure using the categories below. The Agreement sets out timelines for these notifications.

Category A

Provisions that the Member will implement by the time the Agreement enters into force (or in the case of a least developed country member within one year after entry into force).

Category B

Provisions that the Member will implement after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement.

Category C

Provisions that the Member will implement on a date after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement and requiring the acquisition of assistance and support for capacity building.

ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE FACILITY IN 2016
3  Matchmaking and Funding Activities

Task 1: Matchmaking activities

3.1  One of the key functions of the Facility is to assist Members to find the support they need to implement the TFA. Most developing and LDC Members were still in the process of preparing their category C commitments, which requires the identification of the technical assistance and support for capacity building needs for each category C provision. Nevertheless, the facility undertook matchmaking activities in several forms including:

  1. Provision of information on donor and organization programs on the TFAF website. The information provided was expanded during 2016 with the addition of new partner organizations.

  2. One on one meetings with Members to advise on TACB that is available, where to find more information and how to approach donors.

  3. Finding a donor to meet a matchmaking request for specific provisions of the TFA and putting Members in direct touch with a donor, such as World Bank, that agreed to assist with implementation.

Examples:

Country

Assistance Requested

Dates

Participating partner organizations

Bangladesh

Workshop for Parliamentarians on TFA ratification, gap analysis and categorization

5-17 June

 

Request fulfilled by WBG project with UNCTAD and WCO

Myanmar

Assistance to set up the NTFC

January

Request fulfilled by WBG

Viet Nam

Preparation of category A, B and C Notifications

Autumn, part of the long term ongoing program

Request fulfilled by WBG– in addition TFAF requested WB to work with a USAID project currently working in the country.

  1. Organization of two meetings with an individual Member and Annex D partners and donors to discuss needs and programs that can meet these needs.

Examples:

Country

Assistance Requested

Dates

Participating partner organizations

Sri Lanka

Meeting with Sri Lanka delegates and donors to discuss potential support assistance

26 July

TFAF conducted meeting a with participation of UNCTAD, World Bank, UNECE, World Economic Forum, UNIDO, WCO

Cameroon

Meeting with Cameroon delegates and donors to discuss potential support assistance

19 September

TFAF conducted meeting a with participation of EU, ITC, UNCTAD, World Bank, UNECE, World Economic Forum, UNIDO, WCO

  1. Organized and conducted a one-day event for all WTO Members and Observers on Trade Facilitation Implementation Support. It consisted of 17 presentations by donor Members (Canada, the EU, UK, Sweden, USAID), international organizations (the EIF, ITC, OECD, STDF, TFAF, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNIDO, WCO, and the World Bank Group), and private sector associations (GEA, IRU). The presentations were followed by a trade fair where participants could collect brochures and ask questions about the implementation support programs; including the TFAF.

4 Activities related to ratification and special and differential treatment notifications and Identification of Implementation Support

Task 2: Provision of general information

4.1  One of the day-to-day functions of the Facility is to provide information to Members related to the TFA and its implementation. This information sharing is often conducted in a very informal manner, by phone, email or under the WTO open door policy that allows delegates to visit Secretariat staff without scheduling a meeting in advance.

4.2  The Facility frequently[1] provided information to Members on how to complete and submit the category A, B, and C notifications; how to prepare and submit the instrument of acceptance; and answered general questions on the TFA and its requirements. The Facility also responded to numerous requests for information about the TFA from outside the Membership, such as organizations, associations, academia and press.

Task 3: National Workshops

4.3  General workshops on the TFA are conducted under the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC), although they may be conducted by TFAF staff, they are not covered by this report. These activities include national and regional workshops as well as ITTC trade policy courses. (Note that the ITTC is also in the process of developing an e-learning course on trade facilitation.) Information on these activities is available in the ITTC annual report.

4.4  The Facility conducts national activities that require more in-depth knowledge of the Agreement and/or assist with ratification and notifications. These events are conducted upon request and will be individually designed to meet the specific needs of the Member. For requests that fall outside the mandate or expertise of the WTO, such as implementation of the technical provisions of the TFA, we make every effort to find a partner with the relevant expertise to fulfil the request.

4.5  In 2016 only two requests were received for national activities. They are as follows:

4.6  Thailand:  The Thai authorities organized two back to back events - one national workshop in Bangkok and one with some participants from Cambodia and Lao PDR in Udonthani, Thailand. The purpose of both workshops was to raise awareness among different stakeholders about the TFA, its benefits, its implications for the administration, and for the business community. Particular focus was given to the need to establish National Trade Facilitation Committees and to promptly submit the category A, B and C notifications.

4.7  Bolivia:  The TFAF received a request from Bolivia for a workshop on the TFA. Because the World Bank Group was already organizing a similar event we joined efforts in a three day event; with the WCO also participating. The purpose of the workshop was to assist government officials and private sector to have a better understanding of the TFA as well as the advantages and benefits that can be gained from its implementation. Special focus was given to transit issues, the national trade facilitation committee, notification and ratification requirements and implementation support that is available.

Member

Dates

Assistance Provided

Participants

Partners conducting the workshop

Thailand

 

26-27 September

Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Approximately 140 participants attended the event in Bangkok.

UNCTAD, WCO, ITC

Thailand

(Cambodia

Lao PDR)

29–30 September

Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Approximately 120 participants attended the event in Udonthani. Several from Cambodia and Lao PDR also participated.

UNCTAD, WCO, ITC

Bolivia

4–9 October

National Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

40 participants from different ministries , state agencies and from the private sector

WBG, WCO

Task 4: Regional Worskhops

4.8  Two regional workshops were conducted this year at the request of the relevant regional organization. They are as follows:

4.9  SACU: The TFAF, in cooperation with the secretariat of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), conducted a workshop for the five SACU member states (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa). The purpose of this workshop was to assist the participants to have a better understanding of the TFA measures and to ensure a common understanding among the SACU states. This was necessary so that SACU states could be in a better position to prepare their schedules of commitments under categories A, B and C. A better understanding of the issues was also required in order to provide clarity on which measures can be implemented at a regional level through a SACU project.

More information on the event can be found at: http://www.tfafacility.org/joint-sacu-wto-customs-and-trade-officials-workshop-trade-facilitation-agreement-tfa.

4.10  CEFTA: A regional workshop was organized at the WTO for CEFTA countries in co-operation with the CEFTA Secretariat, as well as USAID and the World Bank Group, both of which provided funding for the event. The aim of the workshop was to increase the knowledge of the Members of the CEFTA Regional Committee on Trade Facilitation on the WTO TFA in order to strengthen their capacity to implement the Agreement in their respective countries; as well as to successfully complete ongoing negotiations on a regional CEFTA Protocol on Trade Facilitation that would be in compliance with the WTO TFA. Other Annex D partners also participated as presenters.

4.11  An International Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees was organized in Geneva by UNCTAD with cooperation and funding from the TFAF and other Annex D+ partners. It was organized and originally scheduled to be held at the end of 2016 but was postponed at the last minute until January 2017 so arrangements had to be restarted.

4.12  The main objective of the forum was for participants to share experiences and practices in establishing and maintaining a national trade facilitation committee. Participants also learned about technical assistance programs to support these committees that are available through international and regional organizations. The Forum also provided a great opportunity for the capital-based officials to network with officials from other Members' national committees from around the world.

4.13  Some of the sessions included an overview of the TFA, presentations on especially relevant provisions, such as border agency cooperation; the main challenges and best practices of maintaining a national committee; stakeholder engagement; and the role of NTFC in the future of Trade Facilitation. The total number of registered participants was 277, with 85 women and 195 men. Forty participants were from the private Sector, 58 from ministries of trade, 38 from Customs administrations, and 53 from permanent missions. The participants came from all regions of the world with the majority (53%) from Africa. Funding of some of the participants was shared by the Annex D organizations. The WTO TFAF funded 20 participants, 8 of which are national donor coordinators.

Details on regional workshops conducted and funded by the Facility:

Event

Dates

Venue

Participants

Participating partner organizations

SACU – Joint Customs and Trade Officials Workshop on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

(SACU Members: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa),

23–30 January

Johannesburg - South Africa

The WTO funded 31 participants from the trade ministries, customs or private sectors of 5 SACU countries including 11 females and 20 males.

SACU, WBG

CEFTA – Workshop on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

(CEFTA: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo)

14-18 March

 

WTO

25 participants in total. Three from each CEFTA Party who are directly involved in the regional negotiations, i.e. chief negotiator from Ministry of Economy/Trade, deputy negotiator from Customs Administration and negotiator for SPS issues, including 13 females and 12 males.

CEFTA Secretariat , Global Alliance, ITC, USAID, UNECE, UNIDO, WBG, WCO

 

(Participant travel and lodging funded by USAID & WBG. TFAF funded meeting facilities, lunches and coffee breaks.)

International Forum (organized in 2016 but conducted in 2017)

January 2017

International Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees

277 participants registered plus Geneva based officials that could enter with their badge

ITC, UNCTAD, WBG, WC

Task 5: National needs assessments

4.14  The national needs assessment program was originally created to assist WTO developing and LDC Members to participate more effectively in the trade facilitation negotiations by helping them to conduct a gap and situational analysis. The program was offered again, beginning in 2013 to assist Members to identify the time needed to implement each measure in the TFA, and their technical assistance needs so that they could take advantage of the implementation flexibilities provided for in the TFA. A total of 96 WTO needs assessments have been conducted since the beginning of 2013.

4.15  This program and its trust fund were transferred to the Facility. Most Members completed a self‑assessment before the Facility was created so only one needs assessment was requested and conducted in 2016. This needs assessment was necessary to assist Suriname to be in a position to prepare its category A, B and C notifications and identify its implementation assistance needs.

Member:

Dates:

Facilitated by:

Suriname

April 14- 15, 2016

UNCTAD, ITC

 5 Implementation Support and Capacity Building

Task 6: Dedicated thematic workshops

5.1  Two thematic workshops were conducted this year. The first was a one-day event for all WTO Members and Observers on Trade Facilitation Implementation Support. It (Canada the EU, UK, Sweden, USAID), international organizations (the EIF, ITC, OECD, STDF, TFAF, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNIDO, WCO, and the World Bank Group), and private sector associations (GEA, IRU). The presentations were followed by a trade fair where Members of the audience could collect brochures and ask questions about the implementation support programs; including the TFAF.

5.2  The second thematic workshop was Experience Sharing on Establishing or Maintaining a National Committee on Trade Facilitation. This workshop was conducted at the WTO in the margins of the meeting of the Preparatory Committee and was open to all Members.

5.3  It provided an opportunity for WTO Members to share their experiences in the operation of their NTFC and included sessions on the mandate and composition of the committee, strategies on drafting a roadmap, as well as ensuring the longevity of the NTFC and obtaining assistance to establish or maintain a NTFC. Most of the speakers were participants in the first Advanced Course for Chairs of National Trade Facilitation Committees which was conducted during the same week. Presenters also included officials from Swedepro, USAID, UNECE, UNCTAD, ITC, WBG, and WCO.

Task 7: Advanced Trade Facilitation Course for Chairs of NTFCs

5.4  As mentioned above, all WTO Members are required by the TFA to have a national committee in place to oversee its implementation. Most Members created a task force or committee during the negotiations but many struggled to keep it operating effectively. Based on Members' needs, the TFAF organized courses to build the capacity of the working chairs or secretaries of NTFCs in areas such as successful stakeholder engagement, resource mobilization and conducting successful meetings. The course also focused on assisting participants to have a deeper understanding of the TFA measures, the link between the TFA and other WTO Agreements as well as how to prepare their category A-B-C notifications and find donor support. Another important feature of the course was the opportunity for the participants to network with each other, the coaches and the donors. Various WTO partner organizations including the ITC, WCO, WBG, UNCTAD, UNECE, IATA, and WEF participated in the course as lecturers, coaches, presenters and tutors.

5.5  This course was first offered in English in June. In order to optimize the classroom experience we intended to limit the class to 25 participants for a one week period. However, we received around 75 applications for this course. Based on the high demand we accepted 32 participants for this first course and offered the course again in English. Courses were conducted in French and Spanish in early 2017. Based on our experience and participant feedback from the first course we expanded the remaining courses to two weeks.

Event

Dates

Venue

Participants

Participating partner organizations

Advanced Course for Chairs of National TF Committees (English)

6-10 June

WTO

The WTO funded 31 participants from 30 different countries, including 8 females and 23 males.

WCO, WBG, EIF, IATA, ITC, STDF, UNECE, UNCTAD, WEF

Advanced Course for Chairs of National TF Committees (English)

Note: French and Spanish courses largely organized in 2016 but conducted in 2017

28 November-
9 December

 

WTO

The WTO funded 30 participants from 30 different countries, including 13 females and 17 males.

WCO, WBG, EIF, IATA, ITC, STDF, UNECE, UNCTAD, WEF


[1] Specific counts of meetings are set out in the Results Framework at the end of this document.

 

Task 8: Development of TFAF Grant Program

5.6  One of the key roles of the TFAF will be to offer project preparation (up to US$30,000) and project implementation grants (up to US$200,000) to assist developing and least developed country Members to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The purpose of this grant program is to support WTO Members that have not been able to secure assistance for implementation of TFA provisions from WTO donor Members or multilateral or regional organizations.

5.7  During 2016 the WTO Secretariat began the development of the operational rules for the grant program. The grant program is expected to be launched before the end of 2017 following the entry into force of the TFA and receipt of category C notifications.

Task 9: TFAF website (www.tfafacility.org)

5.8  In 2015 the Facility created a website to serve as a platform for information on all matters to implementation of the TFA. The website contains information on the Agreement, case studies and training materials on the implementation of the trade facilitation measures, information and contact points for donor support programs, contact points for developing and LDC Members, up-to-date information on ratifications of the Agreement and special and differential treatment notifications received. It publicizes trade facilitation–related news items and events conducted by the WTO and partner organizations.

5.9  In 2016 the Facility expanded the number of Members and Observers displaying national contact points. It also began collecting information in order to provide a TFA profile on WTO Members and Observers. The additional information will include ratification dates, links to notifications, studies and publications, as well as technical assistance provided to developing and LDC countries. By the end of 2016 information was collected on more than 500 technical assistance activities in over 60 countries. This information will be posted on the TFAF website in 2017.

5.10  Information on the grant program will be posted once it is fully developed. It will be the portal through which Members will apply for WTO TFA grants.

5.11  As evident from the unique visitor[1] statistics shown below, the number of unique monthly visitors increased from 1800 in 2015 to 3000 in 2016 - an increase of 67%.


[1] Unique visitors refers to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period. A person is counted once regardless of how often they visit.

The chart below shows the total number of visitors per month. The most frequently visited pages were the homepages in English and Spanish, the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and pages with information on ratification and ABC notifications.

NEWSBYTES

5.12  In 2016 the Facility launched a news alert, called Newsbytes, to inform subscribers of new developments and upcoming events related to the TFA. The Newsbyte alert service is available to anyone that registers through the TFAF website. Each alert provides a brief description of the latest news with a link to the full stories on the website. It is issued only when there is news that we think would be of interest to the subscribers. In 2016 ratifications of the TFA were of particular interest as we neared the entry into force of the Agreement.

5.13  Sixteen Newsbytes were issued during 2016. The first NewsByte was sent in February to 223 advance subscribers. By December the number of subscribers had grown to 535.

Task 10: Training materials

5.14  The TFAF created new materials and exercises for the Advanced Courses for Chairs of NTFCs. The partner organizations also contributed to the materials for the course. Materials were provided to all participants in electronic format for their use in their jobs. Of course, materials are prepared to meet the specific needs for all Facility training or promotional events.

5.15  The TFAF keeps up to date charts and statistics available on the website that can be used by Members, or the public, for presentations. Some general slide presentations are also available on the website as are links to training materials developed by other organizations. Slides, with talking points, were provided by the TFAF to several trade ministers to present to their Parliaments.

6 Outreach and Promotion Activities

Task 11: TFA and TFAF promotion

6.1  The Facility organized the distribution of TFAF brochures, as well as materials and brochures from partner organizations, and demonstrated the WTO website at several highly-attended events. These included the WTO Public Forum, the two dedicated thematic workshops, the Advanced Courses as well as national and regional workshops.

6.2  The TFAF in collaboration with the World Bank Group conducted a case study competition under the World Bank Smart Lessons program. The goal of the Special Competition was to showcase the lessons learned (both successes and failures) in implementing trade facilitation reforms. The top 5 or 6 case studies will be presented by the authors at the Aid for Trade Global Review in 2017. All case studies are available on the TFAF website under the resources for the relevant TFA article.

6.3  Work began on a publication on the practices and challenges of the NTFC. The publication will be based on a survey completed by Members and the presentations made in the workshop on Experience Sharing on Establishing or Maintaining a National Committee on Trade Facilitation as mentioned in task 6 above.

6.4  In order to help ensure widespread knowledge about the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the SDT notification requirements, and the role of the Facility, WTO officials participated in a variety of events, some at the WTO and others organized by different organizations; as listed below. (Please note that this list does not include events funded by the WTO Global Trust Fund.)

 

Event

 

Dates

Location

Participants Description

WCO TFA Working Group Meeting

12–13 February

Brussels, Belgium

Approximately 200 participants from customs administrations, other border agencies, international associations and organizations and private sector.

Information seminar on international trade policy for English-speaking journalists from Africa and Asia

11–15 April

Geneva, Switzerland

14 English-speaking journalists from 13 Asian and African countries.

WCO Europe Regional Workshop, on the Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

31 May–3 June

Stockholm, Sweden

Approximately 75 participants from customs administrations, other border agencies, and international organizations.

WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

4–15 June

Tokyo, Japan

The WCO ROCB Asia/Pacific invited 29 customs officers from 21 countries from the regions.

World Bank Group- Consultative Committee Meeting for Trade Facilitation Support Program – TFSP

6 July

Conference call

Approximately 10 participants from TF donors

World Bank Seminar on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and Authorized Economic Operator Programs

20–23 June

Batumi, Georgia

Approximately 50 attendees representing ECA government clients (customs administration and ministries of trade/economy, as well as chambers of commerce and other relevant private sector stakeholders) as well as staff and consultants of T&C involved or interested in trade facilitation.

APEC Workshop on Trade Facilitation

19–22 August

Lima, Peru

This activity was attended by approximately 50 participants from APEC's governments and private sector representatives.

AUC Capacity Building Meeting on the Development of TF Strategy

18–22 September

Nairobi, Kenya

Approximately 50 participants from customs and other border agencies of African countries, as well as international organizations, such as WCO and UNCTAD.

OSCE-WCO Workshop on Enhancing Trade Facilitation through the Improvement of Regional Transit in Central Asia

27–29 September

Astana, Kazakhstan

The workshop was attended by 40 customs and trade officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

TF Session in WTO SPS Advanced Course

24 October

Geneva, Switzerland

The course was attended by 25 government officials from WTO Members and observers working in the field of sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

FIATA World Congress

5–7 October

Dublin, Ireland

Side event. Approximately 50 delegates from FIATA members and the freight-forwarding organizations.

WCO TFA Working Group

10–11 October

Brussels, Belgium

TFAF presentation on the role of the Facility and update on WTO TF notifications and ratifications.

 

Approximately 200 participants from customs administrations, other border agencies, international associations and organizations and private sector.

IATA workshop

12 October

Brussels, Belgium

Officials from airlines and related industries. Approximately 85 people.

African Forum for Chairs of National TF Committees

15–22 October

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Over 130 participants from commerce ministries, customs administrations, and other border agencies of 54 countries

EFTA meeting – update on TFA and TFAF

November

Geneva

Approximately 12 representatives from EFTA member States

WCO Regional Workshop for the Americas and the Caribbean on Strategic Initiatives related to Implementation of the TFA

5 December

Panama City, Panama

Over 60 participants from 27 customs administrations participated in this workshop.

SIECA Sub-regional Workshop on the Implementation of the TFA

6–7 December

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Approximately 40 participants attended the event, most of which were private sector, customs brokers, cargo representatives, and AEOs.

Conference on Trade Facilitation Reform: A Business and Government Partnership, Sydney

13–15 December

Sydney, Australia

Approximately 140 participants from customs administrations, other border agencies, international associations and organizations and private sector in Asia-Pacific region.

Task 12: Activities to enhance coherence and coordination

6.5  The Annex D+ group expanded this year to include 12 organizations and associations.[1] During 2016 the Annex D partners met frequently to share information on assistance activities in order to enhance coherence and avoid duplication. As a result, many events were conducted jointly by organizations, and where separate events were held, information was shared to build on the work rather than to just duplicate. Meetings were also held to plan events, such as the Advanced Courses and the International Forum.

6.6  Regular communication also took place by email throughout the year. In addition, the TFAF officials met with many of the Annex D+ partners during travel and events and in bilateral planning meetings.

6.7  Several information-sharing meetings were held for WTO donors. However, in order to raise funds and develop the operational rules for the TFAF grant program most meetings were held one-on-one.

6.8  The donor conference and trade fair mentioned above also had the aim of encouraging donor coordination and coherence.


[1] The original group includes: IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, World Bank Group, WCO. The new members include: ICC, ITC, IRU, UNECE, UNIDO, WEF (ICC and WEF also on behalf of the Global Alliance for TF).

 

Funding

6.9  Two trust funds existed at the WTO for programs that were created to support the TFA negotiations. The funds remaining in these two trust funds were transferred to the Trade Facilitation Agreement Trust Fund, upon permission of the donors. These funds, as well as additional funds received in 2016 are set out at the beginning of the chart below. With the contributions received in 2016 immediately following. All the figures below are in Swiss Francs (CHF).

7 Funds

Opening Balance as at 1 January 2016

4,121,141.77

 

Australia                                            810,394.33

 

Austria

102,249.86

 

Ireland

34,699.59

 

New Zealand

47,530.72

 

Norway

2,710,413.74

 

Switzerland

12,767.01

 

United Kingdom

359,681.38

 

United States

43,405.14

 

 

 

Contributions 2016

2,268,892.44

 

Austria

 

109,500.00

 

European Commission

217,600.00

 

Finland

175,840.00

 

Norway

1,765,952.44

 

 

Contributions :Transfer from TTFNA Fund Chinese Taipei

33,801.68

 

TOTAL FUNDS

6,419,169.75

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURES

   456,992.57

 

 

 

BALANCE IN FAVOUR OF DONORS

 

 

BALANCE PER DONOR

 

 

Australia

779,974.01

Austria

203,872.65

Finland

169,300.18

Ireland

33,397.05

Norway

4,309,397.94

New Zealand

45,746.52

Chinese Taipei

32,533.25

United Kingdom

346,179.78

United States

41,775.80

 8 Results Framework

TFAF RESULTS FRAMEWORK

(RESULTS)

INDICATOR

Yes/No

No. of something

INDICATOR VALUES

 

MEANS OF VERIFICATION

(SOURCE)

SYSTEMIC RISKS

FAILLING ASSUMPTIONS

FORCE MAJEURE

 

 

Baseline

Year 1

Year 2

 

 

Members have simplified border clearance

Yes/No

 

2014 values

 

 

Implementation deadlines notified by Members

- Technical training does not convert to political commitment.

OUTCOME 1: Members are implementing all TFA provisions

(including category A, B and C commitments)

- Category A notifications implemented

– per cent based on expiration of deadlines for implementation

- requests for extension of deadlines

- No. of cases raised in the TF Committee

TFA not entered into force

 

 TFA not entered into force

TFA not entered into force

TFAF website- information on implementation deadlines of Members

TF Committee Minutes

 

- Insufficient supply of consultants with necessary legal expertise to assist with drafting of national legislation

- New laws not passed by Parliament

- New laws and regulations not implemented

- Disengagement of donors

OUTCOME 2: Members have secured support for category C commitments

 

Yes/No

0

No category C notifications have been submitted

6 category C notifications submitted

Information/feedback from Members

Information/feedback from donors

Information/feedback from international organisations

- Lack of notification

- Insufficient scoping of projects.

- Insufficient detail in requests

- Requests are duplicative or otherwise baseless

- Requests do not sync with donor cycles

- Lack of engagement by donor partners

OUTPUT 2.1: Information platform for donor information

Yes/No

None

www.tfafacility.org

Avg. 1800 unique visitors per month

www.tfafacility.org

Avg. 3000 unique visitors per month

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

 

OUTPUT 2.2: Meetings on needs identification with Members

Number of meetings held

 

0

17

20

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Turnover of Members' staff

OUTPUT 2.3: Meetings/communications with donors to identify support for specific projects

Number of meetings/communications conducted

0

15

17

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Lack of engagement/response by donor partners

OUTPUT 2.4: Grants to developing and LDC Members

 

- Number of grant requests received

- Amount of grants issued

0

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

TFAF website

 

- Insufficient sustainable predictable funding throughout the life of the Facility

OUTCOME 3: Members have completed domestic procedures to make the TFA legally binding

No. of instruments of acceptance received

 

None

64 countries ratified in 2015

39 countries ratified in 2016, 103 in total.

TFAF and WTO websites

 

- Political challenges – i.e. change in government, TFA is an executive priority but Parliament does not ratify

OUTPUT 3.1 Informative material

Number of events held

0*

The TFAF Brochure was distributed at the Global Forum, Aid for Trade event, MC10 Nairobi, Workshops, Annex D+ events we also showcased the TFAF Website at all of these events

The TFAF Brochure was distributed at

The WTO Public Forum, Implementation Support trade fair, and all WTO training events.

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Insufficient sustainable predictable funding

- Technical training does not convert to political commitment

OUTPUT 3.2 Meetings with Members

Number of meetings held

0

35

35

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

OUTPUT 3.3 Workshops/events with Parliament, ministries, national stakeholders/taskforce, Geneva delegates

Number of events held

0

50 Parliamentarians in 4 parliamentarian regional seminars,

2 Nationals (Montenegro, Kyrgyz Republic),

3 WCO workshop,

4 regional workshops (SACU, CEFTA and 2 advance courses) and 3 nationals (Bolivia, Thailand (2))

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

 

OUTCOME 4: Members have submitted TFA Section II notifications

Yes/No

50 category A notifications*

Cat. B: 0

Cat. C: 0

Category A: 25 to make a total of 75

 

Cat. A: 16 to make a total of 90

Cat. B: 6

Cat. C: 6

TFAF website

WTO TF Committee Minutes

- Political challenges – i.e. change in government, national priorities, or economic strategy

OUTPUT 4.1: Consultations with governments and delegations

Number of meetings held

 

O*

50

45

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Lack of demand by developing and LDC Members

 

OUTPUT 4.2: Briefings / events for governments and delegations

Number of events

0*

 

20

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Lack of demand by developing and LDC Members

OUTCOME 5: Members have overview of necessary changes to domestic rules and regulations for alignment with TFA

 (Identification of cat A, B and C commitments)

Number of Members with overview of necessary changes (based on needs assessments and other events)

93*

 

96 total needs assessments plus

97 total. 1 conducted in 2016 (Needs Assessment for Suriname)

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Technical training does not convert to political commitment

OUTPUT 5.1: Needs assessments

No. of assessments

 

93*

(Some countries needed 2d assessment after negotiations were concluded based on TFA final text)

96 total. 3 conducted in 2015

97 total. 1 conducted in 2016 (Needs Assessment for Suriname)

Needs assessment results

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

ABC notifications received

- Insufficient sustainable predictable funding

 

OUTPUT 5.2: Briefings / events for national stakeholders / taskforce

 

No. of events

0*

30

2 advance courses (61 people from 60 different countries were trained, involving stakeholders from government agencies, private sectors)

TFAF Secretariat Annual Report

 

- Insufficient sustainable predictable funding

 

 

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