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12-13 february 2019 meeting of the Сommittee on trade facilitation

In Geneva, Switzerland, on 12-13 February 2019, an official meeting of the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee (hereinafter – the Committee) was held and attended by representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.

According to agenda of the Committee’s meeting, its members considered notifications of WTO members (16 notifications) submitted in accordance with the requirements of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (hereinafter – the Agreement).

The Secretariat of the Committee informed on the status of ratification of the Agreement by WTO members, notification of its separate provisions by categories B and C, and emphasized on the compliance with the deadlines for submitting respective notifications.

In addition, during the Committee’s meeting a considerable attention was paid to sharing an experience in the implementation of the Agreement. Thus, the delegations of Japan and Australia informed on the introduction of mechanisms for adoption of preliminary decisions on the classification of goods, determination of the country of origin and application of the criteria for calculation of the customs value. The experience in functioning of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation was shared by delegations of Costa Rica, Pakistan and Thailand, focusing on its structure, and outlining the issues falling within the competence of the Committee.

Within the framework of the Committee, the Ukrainian delegation representatives made a statement regarding failure of the Russian Federation to fulfill its obligations as to freedom of transit. In particular, the participants of the meeting were informed on the introduction of new restrictive measures in terms of prohibition on the import of certain goods into the territory of the Russian Federation transited through the territory of Ukraine from third countries being WTO members.

Such measures, in the opinion of the Ukrainian party, contradict the provisions of Articles V:6 of the GATT 1994 and 11.4 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and, as a result, create additional barriers to transit.

The participants of the Committee’s meeting discussed the problematic issues related to the implementation of certain provisions of the Agreement, expressed their will to continue reviewing the technical assistance programs aimed at support and development of members’ potential, as well as cooperation with donor organisations.

For reference. The WTO Trade Facilitation Committee is a body of the WTO system, which key task is to monitor the compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, to develop the procedure for sharing information and best practices between WTO members, to ensure receipt of best available recommendations from international trade organisations as to implementation and administration of the Agreement, to support and discuss certain matters under the Agreement to promptly achieve a mutually beneficial solution.

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