Union Cabinet approved Trade Facilitation Agreement

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Who: Trade Facilitation Agreement
What: Approved by Union Cabinet
When: 17 February 2016

Union Cabinet on 17 February 2016 approved Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It approved the Notification of Commitments, its ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat.

India is the 71st country to give nod to the agreement that seeks to ease customs procedures to boost commerce.

As per the Trade Facilitation Agreement adopted by the WTO on 27 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, the TFA shall enter into force for the notified members (107 countries) upon acceptance by two-third WTO Members.

The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

India decided against signing WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement

It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

These objectives are in consonance with India’s “Ease of Doing Business” initiative.

National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF)
Besides, Union Cabinet also approved the constitution of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF). NCTF will facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of the Agreement and it will be set up under the Joint Chair of Secretary, Department of Revenue and Secretary, Department of Commerce.