Analytical Note, June 2013

How Far Does The Trade Facilitation Negotiation text (Rev.16) Go Beyond The WCO Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC)?

This Note assesses the extent to which the Trade Facilitation negotiation text (Rev.16) goes beyond the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC). The backdrop to this Note is the erroneous view that the TF Agreement only differs slightly from the WCO RKC.

This assessment finds that

  • The RKC has a much more limited Membership than the WTO. Seventy-odd WTO Members are not Contracting Party to the RKC. In Africa, only 6 have accepted all the provisions of the Convention.
  • Around half of the articles of the TF negotiation text introduce a new legally binding obligation where no related provisions exist in the RKC. Examples are Interval between Publication and Entry into Force, Opportunity to Comment on New and Amended Rules, Advance Rulings, Disciplines on Fees and Charges Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation, Post-clearance Audit, Establishment and Publication of Average Release Times, Prohibition of Consular Transaction Requirement and Pre-shipment Inspections.
  • For another half of the TF provisions there are indeed related provisions in the RKC but the TF Agreement introduces a stronger, broader and/or a more legally binding commitment.

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