Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters into Force

A major milestone for the global trading system was reached yesterday, 22 February 2017, when the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21-year history of the World Trade Organization, entered into force.

In receiving four more ratifications for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the WTO has obtained the two-thirds acceptance of the agreement from WTO's 164 members.

The last countries to sign - Rwanda, Oman, Chad and Jordan – brought the total number of countries to over the required threshold of 110. A number of IFCBA members and associated businesses from the following countries have ratified the agreement: Australia, Canada, China, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay and the United States.

The entry into force of the TFA, which seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms all over the world and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole. The WTO estimates that the TFA could boost global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion, with up to $730 billion of this increase benefiting developing countries. Trade costs are estimated to be reduced by an average of over 14 percent.

More information on the TFA is available here: