WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The Trade Facilitation Agreement contains provisions for faster and more efficient customs procedures through effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It also contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.


WTO members reached consensus on the Agreement on Trade Facilitation at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013, as part of a wider Bali Package. Since then, WTO members have undertaken a legal review of the text. The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of members have completed their domestic ratification process.

The Agreement has two sections:

  • Section I contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods. It clarifies and improves the relevant articles (V, VIII and X) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.
  • Section II contains special and differential treatment provisions for developing and least-developed countries aimed at helping them implement the provisions of the agreement.

The Bali Package is a selection of issues from the broader Doha Round negotiations which was officially launched at the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001. The aim of the Doha Round was to achieve major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised trade rules. The work programme covers about 20 areas of trade. The Round, also known as the Doha Development Agenda, has a fundamental objective of improving the trading prospects of developing countries.


Bali WTO Ministerial

ICC at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali

Opening, ICC World Trade Agenda Summit, 22 April 2013

Opening Day, ICC World Trade Agenda Summit

Business and the WTO

Debate: Business and the WTO