Trade Facilitation Agreement: New Opportunities for Ukraine
According to the results of an international study by the World Bank Doing business 2014, over the past 2 years, Ukraine has significantly improved its position in the overall ranking of ease of doing business and now occupies 112 positions among 189 countries of the world (in 2013 it was at 137 positions, and in 2012 – at 152). So, from year to year there is a positive trend. So, the position of our state in such categories as obtaining permits for construction (more than three times, from 180 to 41), founding a business (more than doubled, from 112 in 2012 to 47 in 2014) has grown several times. registration of property (from 166 to 97).
At the same time, unfortunately, despite the adoption of a rather progressive Customs Code, in the category of “international trade”, where the status and progress of trade facilitation are evaluated, the rating of Ukraine continues to fall every year, and now Ukraine takes 148 position, which is 3 points lower compared to last year and 8 – compared with 2012.
On average, in the OECD countries, 5 documents are required to complete customs clearance (in Ukraine – 6), procedures last 10 days (in Ukraine – 29, Denmark – 6). The cost of customs clearance when importing one container in Denmark is about $ 800, in Ukraine – $ 1930, which corresponds to the average level of African countries. So, just the adoption of the Customs Code is not enough to improve Ukraine’s position in the ranking of the simplicity of international trade – this requires real reforms.
In the same context, more and more often, foreign companies that start trading in Ukraine try to resort to accounting, legal and consulting services provided by such large companies as Audit-Invest, which guarantees quality and tight deadlines.
The implementation and compliance with international agreements, mainly the implementation of decisions agreed by countries within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), contribute to a greater degree of activation and growth in trade volumes.
From time to time, the international community enters a new level of regulation of trade issues, each time trying to simplify the procedures and formalities existing in the member countries as much as possible, in order to ensure timely delivery of goods, it is imperative to accelerate processes and improve the quality of customs procedures related to the release of goods . One of the first sets of minimum standards in the field of customs clearance of goods was the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, which Ukraine ratified in 2006. Given that this convention was developed within the framework of the World Customs Organization (WTO) as early as 1973, its provisions no longer correspond to the current state of international trade.
Trade Facilitation Agreement
Among the recently adopted key documents that introduce modern standards in the field of trade is the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (hereinafter – the Agreement). Its text was agreed on December 7, 2013 at the IX WTO Ministerial Conference, which was held on the island of Bali (Indonesia). On November 27, 2014, at a meeting of the WTO General Council, a protocol was adopted on amending the Marakesh Agreement by including the Trade Facilitation Agreement as annex to it. So, since November 27, the Agreement is open for signing and ratification by WTO members. For entry into force, it must be ratified by 2/3 of the Member States.
The agreement consolidated a number of multilateral agreements agreed upon by the international community over the past 20 years, and became a new stage in the reform of world trade since the creation of the WTO in 1995. The main objective of the Agreement is to reduce administrative barriers in the customs clearance of goods in international trade. In addition to the fairly general provisions of the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Agreement significantly expands the right to access information on import, export and transit procedures, provides for the possibility of accelerated release of goods and customs clearance, helps to reduce procedures and formalities, etc. d. .
It should be noted that the agreement does not regulate such an important issue as the determination of customs value, since it is regulated in detail by another WTO agreement – on the application of Article VII GATT.
Within the framework of one article, it is impossible to describe in detail all the provisions of the Agreement, so we will generally consider its main provisions and evaluate Ukraine’s compliance with these requirements.
Availability of information and the right to comment
An important achievement of the Agreement is an agreement on an open customs information policy. Thus, countries undertake to publish in a non-discriminatory manner and in an easily accessible form basic information on import, export and transit procedures (including procedures used at ports, airports and other border crossing points)