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  August 9th, 2015 | Written by

Nicaragua Ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement

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  • WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement provides aid to developing countries to achieve goals.
  • The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of WTO membership formally accepts it.
  • WTO members that have ratified FTA include the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea.

Nicaragua has become the eleventh World Trade Organization member to ratify the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Concluded at the WTO’s 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

The agreement also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.

The TFA “broke new ground for developing and least-developed countries in the way it will be implemented,” according to the WTO. “For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the agreement was directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so.”

In addition, the agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.

A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) was also created at the request of developing and least-developed country members to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to reap the full benefits of the TFA and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the new agreement by all members, according to the WTO.

The TFA will only enter into force once two-thirds of the organization’s membership has formally accepted the agreement.

In addition to Nicaragua, WTO-member countries that have ratified the agreement include the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea.