The draft JRC text was circulated in February 2017 to the Council for Trade in Services and the Working Party on National Regulation (CEPDR). The WPDR is the existing negotiating forum within the WTO for the liberalization of trade in services. In trade practices, there is a trend towards parallel facilitation of trade-related procedures (soft infrastructure) and trade and transport structures and operations (heavy infrastructure). Many transport service providers are increasingly “adboarding” transport and logistics services to enable optimised procedures (improved efficiency and reduced costs), while providing value-added services to customers. In the shipping sector, for example, several shipping companies are integrated with logistics integrators through IT platforms and vertical integration between carriers and port and dry port terminals is increasingly observable. (UNCTAD, 2018, -soon- Maritime Traffic Review 2018) UNCTAD`s trade facilitation programme assists developing countries in implementing trade facilitation measures, such as. B needs analysis and development of national trade facilitation measures and projects. UNCTAD`s capacity-building and advisory services help countries monitor and evaluate initiatives to facilitate trade, create a legal framework for trade-related single windows, simplify trade procedures and train national transit coordinators. UNCTAD also supports regional initiatives to facilitate trade. By providing intensive professional training – through the National Trade Facilitation Committees Empowerment Programme – UNCTAD assists the Committees in carrying out their mandates and implementing trade facilitation reforms, including the provisions of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, in a coordinated manner and oversees their implementation.

UNCTAD also provides technical assistance, including tailor-made training in the areas of trade, transit and transport facilitation;1 advisory services upon ratification of the agreement; and to assist in the establishment and sustainable functioning of National Committees for Trade Facilitation. The main feature of the TFS project is that it proposes rules for the four types of services classified by the WTO`s GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services). The TFS draft contains the following proposals for these four types of procurement: the 34 countries reported making changes during and after their participation in UNCTAD`s empowerment programme. Ten countries have adopted supporting legislation, 20 draft mandates, 20 trade facilitation roadmaps and 26 have submitted notifications to prepare for the WTO TFA. In recent decades, trade facilitation (e.g. (B reducing costs and time, improving efficiency and compliance in trade procedures) has become an important theme of national trade policy and the economic and trade literature. Another area in which new forms of public and private partnerships are forming is that of customs. In recent years, Customs` risk management approach has gradually shifted from risk analysis, which aims to inspect and ban many categories of goods, to a more trade-friendly approach. This approach implies the possibility of significantly reducing and eliminating controls on goods carried out by trusted economic operators (including in the wider context of a secure supply chain) and (possibly completely) strengthening the control of other distributors` trade flows. Customs to Business partnerships, for example through standards for authorised economic operators, are an important pillar that is included in instruments such as the World Customs Organisation`s SAFE framework. . .

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