Making the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Work for SMEs

Date of publication: 
Friday, February 26, 2016

This guide for policy makers and trainers provides a succinct overview of articles of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) particularly relevant to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and identifies examples of SME-specific programmes, measures and interventions that can support the implementation of such provisions. In order to maximize the benefits of the TFA for SMEs, it is suggested that the trade facilitation measures featured in the TFA be mainstreamed in the broader SME development and internationalization initiatives and programmes that may already be in place.
The guide highlights the potential role of SME Centres in disseminating information on trade procedures, facilitating SME consultations on trade facilitation matters and providing special services for SMEs to participate in AEO programmes and access single window facilities. Several steps that authorities and agencies in charge of trade facilitation and SME development (which are in many countries under different ministries) may consider jointly taking as part of WTO TFA implementation are outlined as a practical way forward. A regulatory review checklist for small business trade facilitation is also proposed.
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