Source(s) of the individual document(s):

Agreement on Trade Facilitation (2014)

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force on 22 February 2017. It applies only to the WTO members that have accepted it. In respect of each member that accepts the TFA after its entry into force, it will take effect upon acceptance, in accordance with Article X:3 of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.

Preamble

Members,

Having regard to the negotiations launched under the Doha Ministerial Declaration;

Recalling and reaffirming the mandate and principles contained in paragraph 27 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1) and in Annex D of the Decision of the Doha Work Programme adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004 (WT/L/579), as well as in paragraph 33 of and Annex E to the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN(05)/DEC);

Desiring to clarify and improve relevant aspects of Articles V, VIII and X of the GATT 1994 with a view to further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit;

Recognizing the particular needs of developing and especially least-developed country Members and desiring to enhance assistance and support for capacity building in this area;

Recognizing the need for effective cooperation among Members on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues;

Hereby agree as follows:

SECTION I

ARTICLE 1

PUBLICATION AND AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION

1.

Publication

1.1.

Each Member shall promptly publish the following information in a non-discriminatory and easily accessible manner in order to enable governments, traders, and other interested parties to become acquainted with them:

a.

procedures for importation, exportation, and transit (including port, airport, and other entry-point procedures), and required forms and documents;

b.

applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation;

c.

fees and charges imposed by or for governmental agencies on or in connection with importation, exportation or transit;

d.

rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes;

e.

laws, regulations, and administrative rulings of general application relating to rules of origin;

f.

import, export or transit restrictions or prohibitions;

g.

penalty provisions for breaches of import, export, or transit formalities;

h.

procedures for appeal or review;

i.

agreements or parts thereof with any country or countries relating to importation, exportation, or transit; and

j.

procedures relating to the administration of tariff quotas.

1.2.

Nothing in these provisions shall be construed as requiring the publication or provision of information other than in the language of the Member except as stated in paragraph 2.2.

2.

Information Available Through Internet

2.1.

Each Member shall make available, and update to the extent possible and as appropriate, the following through the internet:

a.

a description1 of its procedures for importation, exportation, and transit, including procedures for appeal or review, that informs governments, traders, and other interested parties of the practical steps needed for importation, exportation, and transit;

b.

the forms and documents required for importation into, exportation from, or transit through the territory of that Member;

c.

contact information on its enquiry point(s).

2.2.

Whenever practicable, the description referred to in subparagraph 2.1(a) shall also be made available in one of the official languages of the WTO.

2.3.

Members are encouraged to make available further trade-related information through the internet, including relevant trade-related legislation and other items referred to in paragraph 1.1.

3.

Enquiry Points

3.1.

Each Member shall, within its available resources, establish or maintain one or more enquiry points to answer reasonable enquiries of governments, traders, and other interested parties on matters covered by paragraph 1.1 and to provide the required forms and documents referred to in subparagraph 1.1(a).

3.2.

Members of a customs union or involved in regional integration may establish or maintain common enquiry points at the regional level to satisfy the requirement of paragraph 3.1 for common procedures.

3.3.

Members are encouraged not to require the payment of a fee for answering enquiries and providing required forms and documents. If any, Members shall limit the amount of their fees and charges to the approximate cost of services rendered.

3.4.

The enquiry points shall answer enquiries and provide the forms and documents within a reasonable time period set by each Member, which may vary depending on the nature or complexity of the request.

4.

Notification

Each Member shall notify the Committee on Trade Facilitation established under paragraph 1.1 of Article 23 (referred to in this Agreement as the "Committee") of:

a.

the official place(s) where the items in subparagraphs 1.1(a) to (j) have been published;

b.

the Uniform Resource Locators of website(s) referred to in paragraph 2.1; and

c.

the contact information of the enquiry points referred to in paragraph 3.1.

ARTICLE 2

OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT, INFORMATION BEFORE ENTRY INTO FORCE, AND CONSULTATIONS

1.

Opportunity to Comment and Information before Entry into Force

1.1.

Each Member shall, to the extent practicable and in a manner consistent with its domestic law and legal system, provide opportunities and an appropriate time period to traders and other interested parties to comment on the proposed introduction or amendment of laws and regulations of general application related to the movement, release, and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

1.2.

Each Member shall, to the extent practicable and in a manner consistent with its domestic law and legal system, ensure that new or amended laws and regulations of general application related to the movement, release, and clearance of goods, including goods in transit, are published or information on them made otherwise publicly available, as early as possible before their entry into force, in order to enable traders and other interested parties to become acquainted with them.

1.3.

Changes to duty rates or tariff rates, measures that have a relieving effect, measures the effectiveness of which would be undermined as a result of compliance with paragraphs 1.1 or 1.2, measures applied in urgent circumstances, or minor changes to domestic law and legal system are each excluded from paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2.

2.

Consultations

Each Member shall, as appropriate, provide for regular consultations between its border agencies and traders or other stakeholders located within its territory.

ARTICLE 3

ADVANCE RULINGS

1.

Each Member shall issue an advance ruling in a reasonable, time-bound manner to the applicant that has submitted a written request containing all necessary information. If a Member declines to issue an advance ruling, it shall promptly notify the applicant in writing, setting out the relevant facts and the basis for its decision.

2.

A Member may decline to issue an advance ruling to the applicant where the question raised in the application:

a.

is already pending in the applicant's case before any governmental agency, appellate tribunal, or court; or

b.

has already been decided by any appellate tribunal or court.

3.

The advance ruling shall be valid for a reasonable period of time after its issuance unless the law, facts, or circumstances supporting that ruling have changed.

4.

Where the Member revokes, modifies, or invalidates the advance ruling, it shall provide written notice to the applicant setting out the relevant facts and the basis for its decision. Where a Member revokes, modifies, or invalidates advance rulings with retroactive effect, it may only do so where the ruling was based on incomplete, incorrect, false, or misleading information.

5.

An advance ruling issued by a Member shall be binding on that Member in respect of the applicant that sought it. The Member may provide that the advance ruling is binding on the applicant.

6.

Each Member shall publish, at a minimum:

a.

the requirements for the application for an advance ruling, including the information to be provided and the format;

b.

the time period by which it will issue an advance ruling; and

c.

the length of time for which the advance ruling is valid.

7.

Each Member shall provide, upon written request of an applicant, a review of the advance ruling or the decision to revoke, modify, or invalidate the advance ruling.2

8.

Each Member shall endeavour to make publicly available any information on advance rulings which it considers to be of significant interest to other interested parties, taking into account the need to protect commercially confidential information.

9.

Definitions and scope:

a.

An advance ruling is a written decision provided by a Member to the applicant prior to the importation of a good covered by the application that sets forth the treatment that the Member shall provide to the good at the time of importation with regard to:

i.

the good's tariff classification; and

ii.

the origin of the good.3

b.