• New Impetus for Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Reform Agenda

    1 Dec, 2017 – 10:13 am

    Maputo, November 2017

    New Impetus for Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Reform Agenda 

    The Council of Ministers approved, on 28 November 2017, the Decree that establishes the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC). The purpose of the NTFC is to coordinate, supervise and monitor the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement which entered into force in February 2017.  With this Council of Ministers approval, the participating Ministries have a clear mandate to commit resources and engage fully in the successful implementation of the trade reform agenda for Mozambique.

    Figure 1: Mozambican Delegation to the 1st NTFC International Forum in Geneva, January 2017.

    Figure 1: Mozambican Delegation to the 1st NTFC International Forum in Geneva, January 2017.

    The establishment of the NTFC was one of the main recommendations of the First International Forum of NTFC held in Geneva in January 2017.  SPEED+ facilitated the participation of a delegation from Mozambique which included representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC), Tax Authority, business confederation (CTA), and Mozambique Permanent Representative in Geneva, accompanied by USAID Senior Policy Analyst Nelson Guilaze and SPEED+ Trade Portfolio Manager Rosario Marapusse.  According to the WTO, the institutionalization of the NTFC in all TFA countries is essential for the effectiveness and sustainability of the TFA. If fully implemented, TFA has the potential to increase global exports by $1 trillion annually, and to reduce the transaction costs of international trade with developing countries by more than of 14%.

    In addition to supporting TFA implementation, the NTFC is responsible for promoting legislative reform, streamlining customs procedures, reducing costs for trade, ensuring effective public-private dialogue and coordinating trade agreement negotiations.

    NTFCThough the establishment of Mozambique’s NTFC has recently been driven by participation in TFA, the concept of NTFC is not new. Sweden was the precursor in the conceptualization of trade facilitation bodies and set up a consultative group for this purpose in 1955 (UNCTAD, 2014).  When TFA entered into force in 2017, only 77 WTO member states had NTFC, just 70% of which were formally established. Mozambique has been struggling to set up NTFC for many years, and with SPEED+ support has now reached this important milestone. SPEED+ technical support included: (i) the establishment of the Interim NTFC Committee, which successfully completed all requirements for Mozambique to ratify the TFA, (ii) the drafting of the Decree that established the NTFC, and (iii) the reform of multiple TFA provisions, known as Category B and C provisions.  SPEED+ will continue to support NTFC activities and the implementation of the TFA provisions to improve the trade and investment framework.

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