ICC recommendations for a WTO agreement on trade facilitation

    Prepared by the ICC commission on : Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation
    Publication date : 15/04/2003

    ICC is actively addressing a wide range of international issues with the aim of improving processes associated with cross border trade.

    The 1996 WTO Singapore ministerial conference recognized the benefit of addressing "trade facilitation" within the WTO, and the 2001 Doha ministerial conference agreed that this topic should be considered for a WTO rules-based agreement with particular reference to the modernization of Articles V, VIII and X of the GATT 1994.

    A trade facilitation agreement is fundamental to the establishment of an improved and more efficient management process for international trade in goods on a global basis. All WTO member countries will benefit from it -- especially those burdened with the least efficient trading processes, either through infrastructure or managerial limitations or because of procedural barriers being imposed by trading partners.

    ICC is committed to assisting the WTO and its member countries to realize the full benefits of international trade through a trade facilitation agreement that encourages improved border management and discourages both inefficient and artificially complex or burdensome border procedures. To realize these benefits for all parties, WTO negotiations should be launched at the upcoming Cancún ministerial regardless of the decisions made on the other "Singapore Issues."

    In view of the high level of mutual benefits for all parties, it will be in their interest to begin implementing eventual results without waiting for the formal conclusion of the Doha Development Round.