AHMEDABAD : With the implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement the ease of doing International trade business is at its helm. The agreement will simplify customs procedure, thereby increasing transparency among countries and reducing transactions cost ensuring smooth movement of goods across borders.
Speaking at AMA, Samir J. Shah, Partner with JBS Group of Companies and also National Chairman of Federation of Freight Forwarders' Association in India (FFFAI), who holds the distinction of representing an Indian industry association for the first time at the recent meeting of the World Customs Organization in Brussels, said TFA is on way to provide a single window and erase hindrance in cross-border trade, grow transparency and increase customs revenue. While its success is dependent on a composite political will, bureaucratic precision and acceptance of new norms by the private sector, proactive efforts taken to understand the nuances of the new rules can be instrumental in changing the face of the freight sector.
India has set up a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) for implementing TFA. It will facilitate domestic co-ordination and implementation of TFA provisions and will play a lead role in developing the pan-India road map for trade facilitation. NCTF has been segmented into three tier that include National Committee, Steering Committee and Working groups.
According to Shah, a host of new opportunities have begun to unfold and can do away with time lag, recurring payments issues, documentation anomalies and border halts during freight inflow. The most crucial matter that needs to be taken care of by India to take better advantage of TFA remains Infra development, skill development and technology up-gradation. Proper implementation of a safeguard mechanisms on the challenges may bore fruitful advantage in matters related to TFA in the Country.
India submitted a concept note for trade facilitation agreement (TFA) on services to WTO. TFA is new area in policy decision that will help in developing opportunities for skilled laborers in India.
FEATURES OF TFA
• Release and clearance of goods
• Availability of information on rules and procedures
• Automation and e-services
• Disciplines for fees and penalties
• Harmonized processes and standards
• Consultations and appeals
• Assistance for implementation
Benefits of TFA to India
• It will support India’s aggressive vision on Ease of Doing business
• It is in line with Indian's Make in India initiative and will boost more FDI
• TFA would help harmonise non-tariff barriers between India & EU & thereby give impetus to long standing Indo-EU FTA
• Simplified procedures would soften India’s image as hard bargainer which currently hindered our APEC membership
• India is currently ranked 130th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s (ease of) Doing Business report (2017) and further lower at 143rd when it comes to ‘trading across borders’