The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), negotiations for which were concluded at the 2013 Bali Ministerial conference, entered into force on 22 February 2017 after two-thirds of members completed their domestic ratification process. The agreement focuses on facilitation efforts to reduce the costs and time needed to export and import goods. Provisions for simplifying paperwork, harmonizing customs requirements and capacity building are expected to produce large gains, especially for LDCs.
The TFA is the first WTO agreement in which members can determine their own implementation schedules and in which the implementation requirements are directly linked with the capacity of members. Special and differential treatment (SDT) measures allow LDCs to determine when they will implement each TFA provision and for which provisions they will need technical assistance and support for capacity building. A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) has been created to deliver support to LDCs and developing countries so that they may fully benefit from the TFA.