Trade facilitation reforms are a continuous process. Thus, a periodic review of the progress made in this endeavour is beneficial for the stakeholders in trade facilitation. Whether it is a general measure like submitting a customs declaration or an advanced measure like cross-border exchange of electronic certificates, it is imperative that the current trade facilitation implementation is measured and reported. Understanding the level of implementation and reporting such implementation are even more important during the times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this context, the five United Nations Regional Commissions (UNRCs) are launching the fourth version of the United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2021. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will manage the Survey for its member States. This year’s Survey covers 58 measures including a new set of measures on ‘Trade Facilitation in Times of Crisis’ referring to immediate and long-term measures aimed at addressing crisis situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes the measures related to the provisions of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), digital measures and sustainable trade facilitation measures in the agriculture sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and for women traders.
The Survey will lead to the production of a Global Report and five Regional Reports, which aim at providing insightful information for policymakers to harness trade as a key means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The preliminary results of the 2021 Survey are expected to be available in June at untfsurvey.org, which can generate customized reports based on the survey results.
The Survey is an initiative under the Joint UNRCs Approach to Trade Facilitation, agreed by the Executive Secretaries of the five UNRCs. The Approach was designed to enable the UNRCs to present a joint view on key Trade Facilitation issues – particularly from the regional and interregional level, and to enhance the effectiveness of technical assistance and capacity building initiatives.
If you are an expert in trade facilitation for your country and would like to participate in the Survey, click here for the questionnaire and more details about the methodology of the Survey. The Survey will be open until end February 2021.