Success of Trade Facilitation Agreement riding on industry-readiness for the new order - Samir J. Shah

Posted by Daily Shipping Times on 15-06-2017        Tweet

Upgrade skills to tap opportunities in TFA implemented by WTO

AHMEDABAD : The implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)from February 22, 2017 calls for greater readiness, change of mindset, upgradation of skills and a faster understanding of new procedures and concepts to bring favorable results to all stakeholders.

Samir J. Shah, Chairman of Federation of Freight Forwarders' Association in India (FFFAI) and Chairman, JBS Group, 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 that the moot objective of the World Trade Organization through TFA has been to cut overall trade costs by around 10% in developed countries and by 13—15% in developing countries. The sweeping changes cover importers, exporters, traders, brokers, forwarders, carriers and custodians and Government officials. So, a faster transition to the new order will only allow the freight industry to reap rich dividends.

“The efforts of WTO will be well-complemented by reciprocity and a comprehensive adherence to the new arrangement. The key is industry-preparedness. 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. We are excited,” said Shah.

India has set a target to account for 3.5% of the world’s total exports, higher from the current 2%. After its ratification of the TFA in goods, India has now proposed a TFA in services for free movement of skilled professionals across countries.''The advantages of TFA comprise provisions for expediting movement, release and clearance of goods and efficient customs operations, '' Mr. Shah added.

According to Shah, a host of new opportunities have begun to unfold and can do away with time lag, recurring payments issues, documentational anomalies and border halts during freight inflow.

TFA in goods was the first multilateral trade agreement in 21 years, signed in Bali in 2013, for easing cross-border customs rules for faster movement of goods.