Preparing for TFA implementation

12:32 | 08/01/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was adopted by WTO member countries in Bali, Indonesia in late 2014 and is expected to take effect early next year. Vietnam is actively preparing for TFA implementation.  

By this October, 96 WTO member countries, including Vietnam, have ratified the TFA. The agreement needs to be ratified by an additional 10 member countries to become effective early next year.

This important agreement will promote international trade and bring practical benefits to member countries. According to the World Bank (WB)’s forecasts, once the TFA is implemented, international trade transaction costs will be reduced by about 20 percent. This will contribute to promoting investment in Vietnam, creating more jobs, and enhancing national competitiveness.

The Vietnamese government has shown great determination to seriously and effectively implement the TFA. Ministries and sectors are actively developing the preparation plan for the implementation of the TFA, which was approved by the prime minister on October 13. Vietnam has established a National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window, and Trade Facilitation.

Commitments in the TFA are classified into three groups, A, B, and C. The classification was made by member countries so that they could implement commitments depending on their actual conditions. Vietnam will implement its Group-A commitments as soon as the agreement takes effect. Group-B commitments will be implemented after two or three years, and Group-C commitments more than three years after the TFA takes effect. So far, Vietnam has sent 15 Group-A commitments to the WTO secretariat.

Nguyen Toan, Director of the International Cooperation Department of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, said that since the TFA adoption in 2014, Vietnam has promoted institutional reforms to meet the agreement’s requirements. These reforms include amending the laws on customs, investment, enterprises; amending and supplementing import, export policies as well as decrees and circulars pertaining to business conditions. The Vietnamese government has promulgated resolutions on administrative reforms. All these efforts were aimed at facilitating trade and investment in accordance with WTO regulations.

Vietnamese ministries and sectors are making necessary technical analyses for the implementation of Group-A commitments. At the same time, they are making assessments to regroup, if necessary, commitments in groups B and C. A roadmap for effective implementation of Vietnam’s commitments in the TFA will be built and reported to the WTO Secretariat.

US Agency for International Development Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart highly appreciated the Vietnamese government’s active preparations for the implementation of the TFA. In his opinion, these efforts show Vietnam’s initiative and activity in international integration as well as its determination to boost institutional reforms and improve the investment and business environment in order to facilitate trade and investment.

Lan Ngoc