National Trade Facilitation Bodies are national-level platforms which can act as the main coordinating body for Trade Facilitation reforms and can facilitate effective consultation among the public and private sector stakeholders. In recent years, a multiplicity of bodies promoting Trade Facilitation has emerged in countries. Indeed, in the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), WTO members commit to establishing and/or maintaining such bodies.
In light of these recent developments and the increased demand for guidance in this area, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has published a revised version of Recommendation No. 4 on National Trade Facilitation Bodies.
This Recommendation, first published in 1974, has been revised to integrate UN/CEFACT Guidelines that provide a detailed description of the steps for establishing National Trade Facilitation Bodies, as well as model terms of reference. It also provides a non-exhaustive list of those stakeholders that should be represented in such an entity, including: importers, exporters, freight forwarders, carriers, customs, other government agencies, banks, insurance companies and others.
The revised Recommendation No. 4 has been prepared in consultation with other international organizations involved in Trade Facilitation (including UNCTAD, International Trade Centre, UN Regional Commissions) and with the participation of some 30 experts from around the world. The revision of the Recommendation is timely and is expected to be very useful to all actors involved in the establishment of trade and transport facilitation committees.