The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF or the Facility) was created at the request of developing and least developed country (LDC) Members to help ensure that they receive the assistance they need to reap the full benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of this new Agreement by all Members.
The Facility was formally launched on 22 July 2014, by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and became operational on 27 November 2014, when Members adopted the Protocol of Amendment to insert the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement.
The TFAF will support Developing and LDC Members to assess their specific needs and to identify possible development partners to help them meet those needs through a diverse number of activities, including:
- assisting Members in the preparation of their notification of special and differential treatment categories. To this end, the TFAF will continue administering the needs assessment program;
- the development and delivery of assistance and support for capacity building, with a view to ensuring that WTO Members fully understand the Agreement, the steps needed for its implementation, and the requirements to benefit from the special and differential treatment provisions. To this end, it will make available training materials, case studies, and best practices;
- supporting developing and LDC Members to access the available implementation assistance from regional and multilateral agencies, bilateral donors and other stakeholders that offer a broad range of different programs, with a view to ensuring:
- the best possible conditions for the flow of information between donors and beneficiaries, thereby promoting optimal match-making;
- appropriate coordination among relevant assistance providers to discourage fragmentation and duplication in the delivery of implementation support.
- that support is appropriately aligned to the identified needs, as well as to individual development, financial and trade needs of Members, and to differing levels of administrative and institutional capacity
Where no other funding source is available, the TFAF will offer two types of grants to Developing and LDC Members notifying Category C commitments: project preparation grants and project implementation grants.