A Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) come into effect on February 22, when the WTO obtained acceptances of its two-thirds member countries ratifying the pact which is needed to bring the TFA into force.
TFA is the first multilateral deal concluded since the establishment of WTO in 1995.
WTO’s officials expect that TFA will speed up procedures of custom clearance in member countries and boost global trade by up to 1 trillion dollars or 113 trillion yen each year thanks to promotion of global value chains.
WTO now wishes to emphasize importance of its role to be played as a leading proponent of global free trade, while a trend of protectionism is emerging in the United States and some European countries.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement was made at WTO’s ministerial meeting held at Bali Island, Indonesia, in December 2013.
It was expected that WTO members would adopt a protocol of amendment to insert the TFA into the WTO legal framework by July 2014, which was blocked by India and some other members of developing countries.
n November 2014, WTO member countries finally adopted the protocol of amendment to insert the TFA into its Agreement after many twists and turns.