WTO, WCO launch publication on role of latest technologies in facilitating trade

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WTO trade promotion

A joint publication launched by the WTO and the World Customs Organization (WCO) at a virtual webinar on 29 March, 2022 provides insights into how advanced technologies can help customs authorities facilitate the flow of goods across borders.

The publication outlines the results of a 2021 survey of customs authorities’ use of advanced technologies such as blockchain, the internet of things, data analytics and artificial intelligence to facilitate trade and enhance safety, security and fair revenue collection.

The joint publication highlights the benefits that can result from the adoption of these advanced technologies — such as enhanced transparency of procedures, better risk management, and improved data quality — leading to greater efficiency in customs clearance processes and greater revenue collection.

In her opening remarks, WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González said: “Advanced technologies offer customs an opportunity to take a big leap forward on trade facilitation. Take blockchain. Its widespread application could help us make trade both more transparent and less paper intensive. That would reduce trade costs, which is good news for everyone, especially small businesses, which are disproportionately affected by red tape at the border.”

In his remarks, WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviño Chapa said: “Technologies will assist implementation of international trade facilitation rules and standards, such as the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with the World Trade Organization, to ensure that our work in assisting our members’ digital transformation journeys is complementary, that we bring all relevant partners to the same table, and that we avoid duplication.”

The publication provides useful guidance to WCO and WTO members implementing the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which aims at facilitating the release and clearance of goods, including by using electronic means to exchange data and documents relating to cross-border transactions.

The webinar featured presentations by Brazil, Nigeria, Singapore and the Inter-American Development Bank. More about international organizations HERE.

The full publication can be accessed here. The webcast of the launch event is available here.

Source/ Image Credit: WTO