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Assessing the readiness of Ukraine to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Assessing the readiness of Ukraine to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

On 12 December, the Ukrainian Interagency Working Group on trade facilitation met and decided to: carry out a survey on the readiness of Ukraine to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement; consolidate the national trade facilitation body of Ukraine; and develop a national trade facilitation strategy. These decisions were made in Kiev, following a trade facilitation workshop, on 11 December, organized by the UNECE in cooperation with UNCTAD and the Ukrainian Interagency Working Group on the Single Window and trade facilitation.  The workshop used the UNECE Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide (TFIG) to begin assessing the readiness of Ukraine to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The follow-up study will be led by UNECE; following UNCTAD’s methodology. The final report will be discussed at a validation conference scheduled for early 2015, and will be used, together with other studies, in the preparations for the notification to WTO on Ukraine’s readiness to implement the Agreement.
Mr Valeri Pyatnitski, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine; Ms Oksana Reiter, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure (transport); Mr Anatoly Makarenko, head of the Customs service of Ukraine; and a number of other policy-makers from various regulatory agencies and business, attended the high-level training workshop, and praised the TFIG and the many other contributions of the UNECE to trade facilitation in Ukraine. They supported the recommended actions and pledged assistance to UNECE in developing the study on Ukraine’s readiness to implement trade facilitation and a larger national TF strategy.

Mr Vladimir Shchelkunov, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine and Deputy Chairman of the Interagency Working Group, confirmed the intention to upgrade this group into a national trade facilitation committee as defined in UNECE’s Recommendation 4 and article 23.2 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Mr Mario Apostolov, UNECE Regional Adviser stressed that even if Ukraine faces serious security issues now, facilitating international trade, introducing reliable rules, and overcoming inefficient procedures and corruption remain a not less important challenge. Mr Poul Hansen from UNCTAD summarized the training by stressing the necessity for: a national trade facilitation committee; a readiness assessment for each Ministry in Ukraine; respect for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement’s deadlines; an implementation plan; and education for staff and the business community.

Both the training and the Interagency Working Group meeting focused on two key instruments:  the Single Window (a key theme of UNECE’s cooperation with Ukraine) and a collaborative trade facilitation mechanism (national trade facilitation committee). Mr Vyacheslav Voronoy from the Sea Ports Administration of Ukraine reported on the latest developments with the Odessa Port Community System, which is steadily expanding. Three ports are covered already by the system, which has cleared over 250,000 containers in the Odessa Port alone since April 2013; and, since they joined the system: 38,000 containers in Ilyichevsk Port, and 46 ships in Yuzhniy. In addition, 530 users have signed agreements with the Port Community System; and Ukrainian Customs also signed such an agreement during the week of the UNECE training. As planned, the Odessa Port Community System project will serve as a basis for developing further systems to expedite trade and transport, including a possible national Single Window – areas where UNECE has been assisting Ukraine for many years.
For more information, please contact:
Mario Apostolov
Regional Adviser, UNECE Trade
Palais des Nations, Room 431
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
tel.: +41 22 9171134
fax: +41 22 9170037
mob. +41 79 2790936

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 12 34


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