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WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
During the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 2013 held in Bali, Indonesia, TFA was concluded. It was the first agreement to come out of DDA (Doha Development Agenda -Singapore Issue). The TFA contains provisions for expediting the
movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area. The TFA is viewed as a development related agreement AND sets forth a series of measures for expeditious movement of goods across the borders inspired by the best practices from around the world (Bridging Gaps in Articles V, VIII & X). The agreement was estimated to reduce business costs by between US$ 350 Billion and US$ 1 Trillion (Source: WTO 2013) and Could increase world trade by between US$ 33 Billion and US$ 100 Billion in global exports per year and US$ 67 Billion in global GDP(World Bank, OECD, 2012).
The TFA has three sections:
•Section I contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It clarifies and improves the relevant articles (V, VIII and X) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994. It also sets out provisions for customs cooperation.
•Section II contains special and differential treatment (SDT) provisions that allow developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) to determine when they will implement individual provisions of the Agreement and to identify provisions that they will only be able to implement upon the receipt of technical assistance and support for capacity building.
•To benefit from SDT, a member must categorize each provision of the Agreement, as defined below, and notify other WTO members of these categorizations in accordance with specific timelines outlined in the Agreement (see below).
•Category A: provisions that the member will implement by the time the Agreement enters into force (or in the case of a least-developed country member within one year after entry into force)  
•Category B: provisions that the member will implement after a transitional period following the  entry into force of the Agreement
•Category C: provisions that the member will implement on a date after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement and requiring the acquisition of assistance and support for capacity building.
For provisions designated as categories B and C, the member must provide dates for implementation of the provisions, as outlined in the various factsheets:
•Section III contains provisions that establish a permanent committee on trade facilitation at the WTO, require members to have a national committee to facilitate domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of the Agreement. It also sets out a few final provisions.
Provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Technical assistance and capacity building
Technical assistance for trade facilitation is provided by the WTO, WTO members and other intergovernmental organizations, including the World Bank, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). In July 2014, the WTO announced the launch of the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, which will assist developing and least-developed countries in implementing the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Facility became operational with the adoption of the Trade Facilitation Protocol.
Status of Kenya on the TFA
1.Kenya notified its Category  A measures on 29th April 2015

2.Kenya has completed its TFA Ratification process and deposited Its instruments on 11th December
2015
3.Kenya has established the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) consisting of  representatives of public and private sectors whose overall purpose Is to contribute to the Natonal Trade Policy of Kenya through the facilitation of import, export and Transit operations.

The immediate objective is to set up a formal, functional and sustainable multi agency coordinating mechanism, that will coordinate and support the implementation of the TFA provision.

Objective 1: Establish one NTFC that efficiently supports the implementation of the TFA during at least the next 5 years.

Objective 2: Take into account concerns, needs and views of all involved public agencies and private organizations in the implementation of the TFA.

Objective 3: Increase the understanding of TFA, its implications and benefits among public and private sector stakeholders and general public.

Chairmanship: The Kenya Revenue Authority is the Chair and KEPSA is the deputy Chair to the NTFC from the date of the gazettement.

Frequency of Meetings: The NFTC meets on a quarterly basis and whenever a need arises.

Decision Making: Decisions of the NTFC are taken by a simple majority of members present. Decisions of the working groups shall be taken by a simple majority of members present
 
 
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