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UNECE launches Trade Facilitation implementation guide

Published: 25 October 2012

UNECE today launched its Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide. This is a web-based interactive tool designed to help countries simplify cross-border trade. Trade facilitation has become a key policy issue for both governments and business as it helps cut the costs of doing trade, reduce delays at the border, and make public agencies dealing with trade more efficient. It is at the heart of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round negotiations.

The Guide shows policymakers and implementers how to identify relevant trade facilitation measures and instruments for dealing with issues such as:

  • avoiding waiting times at border crossings;
  • setting up a Single Window for exports and imports;
  • using modern information technologies for trade facilitation.

Case stories from Cambodia, Jordan, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal and Thailand with concrete examples how developing and transition economies have succeeded in dealing with these issues.

The Guide includes the work of key organizations involved in trade facilitation and covers the related measures currently being discussed at the WTO. It is available in English, and will be translated into French and Russian. It is published on the UNECE website at .

The Guide was developed by UNECE, with the support of its UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the contribution of numerous experts from international organizations, national entities, and financial support from the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency.

Speaking at the launch, UNECE Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj recalled that “according to OECD, every extra day required to ready goods for import or export reduces trade by around 4%”.  Mr. Alkalaj and Ambassador Reiter, Swedish Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, said the Guide will be a valuable tool for both national reformers and international negotiators engaged in trade facilitation efforts, and thus will support a better and more inclusive international trading system in the future.

Delegations participating at the launch also welcomed the Guide. The representative of the European Union said that at the current critical phase of the WTO negotiations, the Guide is a very useful practical tool to help trade-facilitation-related reforms in developing and less developed countries, which is very helpful.

For more information, contact us at:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05