You are here

HOW TO PREPARE TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT NOTIFICATIONS

Here you will find information that will help you prepare the notifications required by the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that must be submitted to the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee (the Committee).  

Under each type of notification, as listed below, you will find links to notification templates and guidance on how to prepare them. You will also find extracts from Members' notifications, that have been selected randomly, to give you an idea of how some Members have provided the necessary information.  

You will notice some variations in Members' notifications. Except for Article 22.1 the TFA does not set out requirements on how to notify the information. The WTO Secretariat has created templates based on Member submissions in order to provide guidance and consistency. You can adapt them to fit your needs.

In case you want more examples, under each type of notification you will find a link that leads to a list of Members that have already notified. You can then find each Member's notification on TFAdatabase.org/WTO Members. 

Please feel free to submit a draft of your notification or contact the WTO Secretariat for guidance. See references and contact points in the box below.

Useful Information:

Submit notifications, drafts, or queries to the WTO Secretariat at: wtotradefacilitation@gmail.com

Queries for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility can be sent here: TFAF@WTO.org 

General information on the notification requirements can be found here

A notifications dashboard to explore all notification data can be found here

To see your country's current notification status, or see how other Members have notified you can find all notifications here.

Statistics on notifications can be found here.

A list of TF Enquiry Points can be found here.   

A WTO brochure outlining the transparency notifications and deadlines can be found here: [download brochure]

A brochure outlining the ABC notifications and deadlines can be found here: [download brochure]

ABC Notification Template with TACB Examples for Each Provision: [download document]

Examples of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Needs from Member Notifications: [download document]

 

The TFA Notification Requirements:

TRANSPARENCY NOTIFICATIONS - (Articles 1.4, 10.4, 10.6, and 12)

The transparency notifications are set out in Articles 1.4, 10.4.3, 10.6.2, and 12.2 of the TFA. Each of these provisions requires WTO Members to notify either information on implementation of the provision or specified contact points.   

Who must notify:  All WTO Members

Due: Each transparency notification is due according to the implementation timeline of each Member. For developing and LDC Members if any of the relevant provisions are notified in category A, the transparency notification is due as soon as the TFA enters into force for that Member.  If any of the relevant provisions are notified in category B or C, then they are due in accordance with the date established by the Member.

How to notify:  Each provision can be notified separately, all together, or in any combination (for example if you are already implementing articles 1.4 and 12.2 you can notify them together now and notify 10.4 and 10.6 once they are implemented- either separately or together depending on the timing).  

TEMPLATE for the notification of the transparency provisions can be found here: [Click to download]

This one template includes a model for all the transparency notifications. You can just complete the notification sections that you need and delete the rest.  

Lists of Members that have already provided their transparency notifications can be found here:

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage):
https://tfadatabase.org/members

A United States Communication on Developing the Article 1.4 Notification can be found here: 
https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/document/W13.pdf

All notified Article 1.1 information can be found here listed by Member:
https://tfadatabase.org/information-for-traders/import-export-and-transi...

Article 1.4 (a) - Publication

Article 1.4 (a) 

(a) Each Member shall notify the Committee of the official place(s) where the items in Article 1.1 subparagraphs (a) to (j) have been published; 

Article 1.1 subparagraphs (a) to (j) specify the type of information that must be published.

Article 1.1

(a) procedures for importation, exportation, and transit (including port, airport, and other entry-point procedures), and required forms and documents; 
(b) applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation;
(c) fees and charges imposed by or for governmental agencies on or in connection with importation, exportation or transit;
(d) rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes;
(e) laws, regulations, and administrative rulings of general application relating to rules of origin;
(f) import, export or transit restrictions or prohibitions;
(g) penalty provisions for breaches of import, export, or transit formalities; 
(h) procedures for appeal or review;
(i)  agreements or parts thereof with any country or countries relating to importation, exportation, or transit; and
(j)  procedures relating to the administration of tariff quotas.

How to notify subparagraphs (a) - (j): Using the notification template for Article 1.4 (a) complete a chart for each subparagraph a-j. 
Be sure to put a direct link to where each type of information can be found. 
Do not just put a link to a general government website.

You can use this chart from the template for each subparagraph.

(a) procedures for importation, exportation, and transit (including port, airport, and other entry-point procedures), and required forms and documents; 

[Ministry/Agency] [Weblink] [Description]
     


(b) applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation;

[Ministry/Agency] [Weblink] [Description]
     

 

(c) Continue on completing the charts for (c) – (j) - as provided in the template.

 

Extract from Australia's notification for Article 1.4(a) – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NAUS1R1.pdf

Extract from Guyana's notification for Article 1.4(a),
showing information for Article 1.1 subparagraphs (a) and (b): 

Full notification can be found here:  https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NGUY2.pdf

Article 1.4 (b) - Internet Publication

Article 1.4 (b) 

(b) Each Member shall notify to the Committee the Uniform Resource Locators of website(s) referred to in paragraph 2.1.
Paragraph 2.1 requires each Member to publish on the internet a description of the procedures and practical steps required for import, export, transit, appeal or review; as well as internet publication of the required forms and documents.

Paragraph 2.1   
Each Member shall make available, and update to the extent possible and as appropriate, the following through the internet:

  • (a) a description of its procedures for importation, exportation, and transit, including procedures for appeal or review, that informs governments, traders, and other interested parties of the practical steps needed for importation, exportation, and transit; 
  • (b) the forms and documents required for importation into, exportation from, or transit through the territory of that Member;
  • [(c) contact information on its enquiry point(s). Notified under Article 1.4(c)]


In the notification TEMPLATE for Article 1.4 (b) provide the weblinks where this information can be found.

(b) The Uniform Resource Locators of website(s) referred to in paragraph 2.1

Title Weblink
   

 

Extract from Mexico's notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NMEX1_4.pdf

Article 1.4 (c) - Enquiry Points

Article 1.4 (c) 

(c) Each Member shall notify to the Committee the contact information of the enquiry points referred to in paragraph 3.1.

Article 3.1 

Each Member shall, within its available resources, establish or maintain one or more enquiry
points to answer reasonable enquiries of governments, traders, and other interested parties on
matters covered by paragraph 1.1 and to provide the required forms and documents referred to
in subparagraph 1.1(a).

The contact information can be provided using a box such as the one below as provided in the template, or you can notify a weblink where the information can be found.  

TEMPLATE Chart:

[Ministry/Agency] Name:
Tel.: 
E-mail: 
Website: 
[Description]

Extract from Mauritius' notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NMUS2_4.pdf

Extract from the United States notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NUSA1.pdf

Article 10.4 - Single Window

Article 10.4.3  Members shall notify the Committee of the details of operation of the single window.

Provide information about the operation of your single window or provide a link to where this information can be found.

Extract from Korea's notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NKOR1_3.pdf

Extract from New Zealand's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NNZL1.pdf

Article 10.6 - Use of Customs Brokers

Article 10.6.2 Each Member shall notify the Committee and publish its measures on the use of customs brokers. Any subsequent modifications thereof shall be notified and published promptly.

You should provide a statement in the text of your notification to make it clear if the use of brokers is a mandatory requirement in your country or if the use of customs brokers is not mandatory. You should also provide information on the legal requirements for brokers or a link to this information.

Extract from China's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NCHN2R2.pdf

Extract from Philippines' notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/GTFANPHL2.pdf

Extract from Costa Rica's notification –

Full notification can be found here: - https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NCRI2_1.pdf

Article 12 - Customs Cooperation

Article 12.2.2  Each Member shall notify the Committee of the details of its contact point for the exchange of customs information.

Provide the contact information or a link to the information.

Extract from Albania's notification – 

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NALB2_3.pdf

SPECIAL AND DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT - (ABC RELATED NOTIFICATIONS)

Articles 14-16 – ABC-Related Notification (category, implementation dates, implementation assistance needs)

These articles set out a number of notification requirements and deadlines for developing and LDC Members that require additional time and assistance to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement provisions in Section I of the TFA (Articles 1-12).  The deadlines for these notifications for developing Members have already passed.  LDCs have additional time for their notifications.  (See chart of deadlines below.) 

Who must notify:   developing and LDC Members that require additional time and assistance to implement the trade facilitation provisions in Section I of the TFA (Articles 1-12).  

How to notify:  
Each Member must categorize each provision (article or sub-article) of the TFA into one of 3 categories.   

  • Category A – the provisions it was already implementing when the TFA entered into force (or upon notification, if after); 
  • Category B – the provisions for which it needs more time; 
  • Category C- the provisions for which it needs additional time and assistance and capacity building support.

Plus: 
Dates of implementation for provisions notified in categories B and C.  
Technical assistance and support for capacity building (TACB) needs for Category C provisions


For examples of TACB for each TFA provision see these documents:

ABC Notification with TACB Examples for Each Provision:  [link]
Examples of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Needs from Member Notifications: [link]


TEMPLATE for the A, B, C notifications, including columns for implementation dates and TACB requirements can be found here: [Click to download]

Complete the template chart for each provision of the Agreement as appropriate depending on how you categorize it (category A, B, or C). 

Provision Heading/
Description
Category Indicative date for implementation
(for categories 
B and C)
Definitive date for implementation
(for categories 
B and C)
Assistance and Support for Capacity Building Required for Implementation 
(for category C)
Article 1 Publication and Availability of Information
Article 1.1 Publication Notify the category A or B or C

If in Category B or C

Date you will implement this provision

Put full date including day, month, year
E.G,
31 December 2023

If you are notifying the definitive date at the same time, just put the same date in both columns.

Notification Due: Developing countries 22 Feb 2017
LDCs (may):
22 Feb 2018

If in Category B or C

Date you will implement this provision

Put full date including day, month, year
E.G,
31 December 2023

Notification Due:
Developing countries 22 Feb 2018 

LDCs
If Cat. B: 22 Feb 2020
If Cat C: 22 Aug. 2022

If in Category C

Provide information on type of assistance needed to implement. Can be bullet point list but provide as many details as possible.

 

Notification Due:
Developing countries 22 Feb 2017 

LDCs: 22 Feb 2019

 

Due:

Deadlines for Developing Members

Deadlines for Developing Members

February 22 2017 (Date the TFA entered into force)

A, B, C category notifications

Indicative dates for provisions notified in categories B and C

Technical assistance and support for capacity building (TACB) requirements for provisions notified in Category C

February 22 2018

Definitive implementation dates for provisions notified in category B

TACB arrangements with donors for provisions notified in category C (see below)

August 22, 2019

Definitive dates for provisions notified in category C

Progress on TACB for provisions notified in category C

February 22 2018 (Date the TFA entered into force)

A, B, C category notifications

May provide indicative dates for provisions notified in category B

February 22 2019

TACB requirements for provisions notified in Category C

February 22 2020

Definitive implementation dates for provisions notified in category B

February 22 2021

Indicative dates for provisions notified in category C

TACB arrangements with donors for provisions notified in category C (see below)

August 22, 2022

Definitive dates for provisions notified in category C

Progress on TACB for provisions notified in category C (see below)

 

List of Members that have already provided ABC- related notifications:   
All ABC designations: https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/abc-designations?type=all

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage):
https://tfadatabase.org/members

 

 

Extract from Mongolia's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NMNG1_3.pdf

IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT (TACB) ARRANGEMENTS and PROGRESS REPORTS - (Article 16)

Article 16 - Implementation Support Arrangements  

(Article 16.1(d) for developing countries, Article 16.2(e) for LDCs)

Article 16 requires developing and least developed Members to notify arrangements with donors for assistance and support for capacity building for the implementation of the provisions notified in Category C.  

Who must notify:  developing and LDC Members that have notified provisions in category C.

Due:   Arrangements:  Developing Members – due February 22, 2018.   LDC Members due February 22, 2021


Article 16 – Progress Reports  

(Article 16.1(e) - developing countries, Article 16.2(f) – LDCs)

Article 16 also requires donor Members, developing and LDC Members to notify progress on the provision of assistance and support for capacity building.   

Who must notify:  donor Members, developing and LDC Members that have notified provisions in category C.

Due:   Progress reports:   Developing Members – due August 22, 2019.   LDC Members due August 22, 2022

How to notify:  
TEMPLATE for both the notification of implementation support (TACB) arrangements and progress reports can be found here: [Click to download]

Complete a chart in the template, like the one below, for EACH provision notified in category C

Provision Heading/Description Category Indicative date for implementation Definitive date for implementation
Article XX XXXXXX C [DATE] [DATE]
Donors: Insert Donor name(s). Or If you are lacking donor support for the provision insert here "To be determined".
Progress in the provision of technical assistance and capacity building support: Insert a progress report on the implementation of the provision. OR If you are lacking donor support for the provision insert "Donor(s) has not yet been identified."- or something to this effect. You can also add information such as any donor(s) that you have approached to request assistance. And/or you can provide the TACB needs for the provision from your ABC notification.

 

 

Extract from Maldives notification – showing donor arrangements and progress.

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NMDV4.pdf

Extract from Ukraine's notification –
showing donor arrangements and progress as well as areas where additional support is needed.

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NUKR4.pdf

Extracts from Bangladesh's notification –
one chart showing donor arrangements and progress and a chart indicating that donor assistance is still to be determined.

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NBGD2R1.pdf

EXTENSION OF CATEGORY B AND C IMPLEMENTATION DATES - (Article 17)

Article 17 - Extension of Category B and C Implementation Dates

A developing or least-developed Member that cannot implement a provision(s) notified in category B or C by its notified definitive date can request an extension of time.

Who must notify: Any developing or least-developed Member that cannot implement a provision notified in category B or C by its notified definitive date.

Due: Developing countries- no later than 120 days before the expiration of the implementation date. 
Least-developed countries - no later than 90 days before such date.

How to notify: Indicate the new date by which you expect to implement the provision concerned. You must also indicate the reasons for the expected delay in implementation.
The reasons may include the need for assistance and support for capacity building not earlier anticipated or additional assistance and support to help build capacity.

Note that if the new implementation date does not exceed 18 months for a developing country, or 3 years for an LDC, and it is a first request, then the extension will be accepted without action by the Committee.

TEMPLATE for extension of time and shifting categories (Article 19) can be found here: [Click to download]
(It is a combined template. You can just use the extension of time section and delete the rest if you are not also shifting categories.)

Complete the chart in the template as follows:

Provision Heading/Description Previously notified definitive date for implementation New definitive date for implementation requested Reasons for extension
         
         
         


List of Members that have already notified a time extension: 
https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/shift-and-extensions?type=extension_c

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage):
https://tfadatabase.org/members

 

Extract from Bahrain's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NBHR1A1.pdf

SHIFTING BETWEEN CATEGORIES B AND C - (Article 19)

Article 19 Shifting Between Categories B and C

A developing or least-developed Member can shift a provision from category B to category C or from category C to category B by notifying the Committee.

Who must notify: A developing or least-developed Member that needs to shift a provision(s) from category B to C or C to B.

Due: No date specified in the TFA

How to notify:  
Shifts from Category C to Category B:

If shifting a provision(s) from category C to category B then only the provision(s) and the shift(s) need to be notified.  The following Chart 1 can be used.  


Chart 1: Shifting Provisions

Provision Heading/Description Category previously notified as Category shifted to
    C B
    B C


Shifts from Category B to Category C:

If notifying a shift(s) from category B to category C then the assistance and support for capacity building needs must also be provided.  

If additional time is needed as a result of a shift(s) from B to C, then you must provide:
the new definitive date(s) and the reason(s) for the additional time (see Article 17 Time Extension Notification).  

The following chart 2 can be used.  
Also, in your notification state in the text that additional time is needed because assistance and support for capacity building is needed to implement the provisions(s) that was not earlier anticipated.

Chart 2: Shifting of categories with extension of definitive implementation dates

Provision Heading/Description Previous category designation New category designation Previous date for Implementation New definitive date for Implementation requested Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Assistance (TACB) that will be required
    B C      


Shifts from Category C to Category B AND Category B to Category C:

If notifying shifts from C to B AND B to C in the same notification, you can provide all shifts in Chart 1 and the required additional information for provisions shifting from B to C can be provided using Chart 2.  (See an example in the Kyrgyz Republic extracts of these 2 charts below.)

TEMPLATE that provides both charts 1 and 2, above, and a chart just for the extension of time (Article 17) can be found here: [Click to download]
You can use any of the charts that suit your particular situation.  

List of Members that have already notified category shifts:
https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/shift-and-extensions?type=shift_cb

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage):
https://tfadatabase.org/members

Extract from Samoa's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NWSM1A1.pdf

Extracts from Kyrgyz Republic's notification of category shifts, TACB needs

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NKGZ2A1_1.pdf

The Kyrgyz Republic provided all shifts in one chart. A second chart for a provision shifted from B to C was completed to notify the additional time needed (new implementation dates) and TACB needs.

Extract 1- Chart of shifting categories

Extract 2 - Chart with new definitive date and TACB needs for provision shifted from category B to C

Provision Heading/Description Previous category designation New category designation Previously notified definitive date for implementation New definitive date for implementation requested Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Assistance (TACB) that will be required
Article 12.11 Unauthorized Use or Disclosure B C 31 December 2020 31 December 2022
  • To support in the implementation of regional activities including participation in regional events
  • Determination of the agenda
  • Trainings and other activities in strengthening the potential of exporters and importers at national and regional levels.

 

INFORMATION ON ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT FOR CAPACITY BUILDING - (Article 22)
Article 22.1 - Donor Member Annual Report on TF TACB Disbursement for Previous Year

Article 22. 1 – Donor Member Annual Report on TF TACB Disbursement for Previous Year

Each donor Member assisting developing and LDC Members with the implementation of this Agreement shall notify annually, the following information on its assistance and support for capacity building that was disbursed in the preceding 12 months and, where available, that is committed in the next 12 months:

(a)  a description of the assistance and support for capacity building;
(b)  the status and amount committed/disbursed;
(c)  procedures for disbursement of the assistance and support;
(d)  the beneficiary Member or, where necessary, the region; and
(e)  the implementing agency in the Member providing assistance and support.

Who must notify:  WTO Donor Members
Developing country Members in a position to provide TACB, and partner organizations are encouraged to provide this information.

Due: Annually

How to notify:  The TEMPLATE for this information is found in Annex 1 of the TFA.
OECD Members can base their notification on relevant information from the OECD Creditor Reporting System


TFA Annex 1: Format for notification under paragraph 1 of Article 22

Donor Member:
Period covered by the notification:

Description of the technical and financial assistance and capacity building resources Status and amount committed/disbursed Beneficiary country/ Region (where necessary) The implementing agency in the Member providing assistance Procedures for disbursement of the assistance

List of Members that have already notified Article 22.1 and 22.2: 
https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/assistance/22-1-22-2

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage): https://tfadatabase.org/members

Extract from the European Union's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NEU2_3.pdf

Extract from Australia's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NAUS3.pdf

Article 22.2 - Donor Member Agency Contact Points and TACB Process and Mechanisms

Article 22.2 – Donor Member Agency Contact Points and TACB Process and Mechanisms

Donor Members assisting developing country Members and least-developed country Members shall submit to the Committee:

(a) contact points of their agencies responsible for providing assistance and support for capacity building
related to the implementation of Section I of this Agreement including, where practicable, information on such contact points
within the country or region where the assistance and support is to be provided; and

(b) information on the process and mechanisms for requesting assistance and support for capacity building.

Who must notify:  WTO Donor Members
Developing country Members in a position to provide TACB, and partner organizations are encouraged to provide this information.

Due: No date specified in the TFA
Early notification would be very useful to assist Members that notified provisions in category C.

How to notify: no specific TEMPLATE. Information can be provided in text form as in the examples below.

List of Members that have already notified Article 22.1 and 22.2: 
https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/assistance/22-1-22-2

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage):
https://tfadatabase.org/members

Extract from the European Union's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NEU2_3.pdf

Extract from Australia's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NAUS3.pdf

Article 22.3 - Developing/LDC Member Contact points for Donor Coordinator(s)

Article 22.3 – Developing/LDC Member Contact points for Donor Coordinator(s)

Developing and LDC Members requiring assistance and support for capacity building to implement TFA provisions must notify information on contact point(s) of the office(s) responsible for coordinating and prioritizing such assistance and support.

Who must notify:  Developing and least-developed countries that require assistance and support for capacity building (category C provisions).  

Due: No date specified in the TFA.  
Early notification would be very useful if seeking donors to assist with implementation.

How to notify:  You can provide the contact information in text form or use the chart provided in the template.
Note that, although not required by the TFA, some Members have also notified contact points for the chair of the national trade facilitation committee, the Geneva-based delegate responsible for TF, and the national transit coordinator (the information that you can find on the Contact Points page of this website).

TEMPLATE for the Article 22.3 notification can be found here: [Click to download]
 

Name                                   
Title  
Contact type  
Agency/Ministry/Other  
Address  
Telephone  
Fax  
E-mail  
Website  


List of Members that have already notified Article 22.3:
https://tfadatabase.org/notifications/assistance/22-3

Find Members' notifications here (click on Member name and find notifications at the bottom of their webpage): 
https://tfadatabase.org/members

Extract from Angola's notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NAGO2.pdf

Extract from St Vincent and the Grenadines notification –

Full notification can be found here: https://tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NVCT2.pdf

HOW TO MODIFY A NOTIFICATION

Because website links and contact points can change you might need to update your notifications.   

If you need to modify a notification the best way is to make changes to your existing notification.   
First delete the information that is no longer correct and then update or add any additional information.