Nairametrics| Nigeria has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), making it the 107th World Trade Organisation (WTO) member to do so. Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah met with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to mark the deposit.
On November 10, 2014, Nigeria submitted its Category A notification to the WTO outlining which substantive provisions of the TFA it intends to implement upon entry into force of the Agreement. The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement and ratification is a means of expression for a country to be legally bound by a treaty.
TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
In addition to Nigeria, some other African countries that have ratified are Botswana, Niger, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Zambia, Lesotho, Mali, Senegal, Swaziland, Gabon, Ghana and Mozambique. The TFA broke new ground for developing and least-developed countries in the way it will be implemented. For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the Agreement was directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.