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Committee on Trade Facilitation - Report by the Trade Facilitation Agreement facility to the Trade Facilitation Committee - 30 June - 1 July 2022
日期:2022/06/17
作者:Committee on Trade Facilitation
文件編號:G/TFA/W/79
附件下載:GTFAW79.pdf
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REPORT BY THE TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT FACILITY TO THE

TRADE FACILITATION COMMITTEE

30 June – 1 July 2022

 

1  INTRODUCTION

1.1.  This document provides information on the work of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) since the last report made to the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee at the meeting held on 19-21 October 2021 up to 31 May 2022. In the reporting period the focus of the TFAF's work has been the completion of the migration of the website to an updated web platform, the ongoing delivery of the grant program, meetings with LDC Members on notifications, and the launch of an independent evaluation. The report is organised according to the TFAF's priorities provided in G/TFA/3.

2  TFAF GRANT PROGRAM

Stage of the application

Outcomes

No. of TFA Articles matched with potential assistance

Progressed to next stage of TFAF Grant process

3 Expressions of interest (EoI) (+2 preliminary)

2 Expressions of Interest (inc. 1 preliminary) matched before project proposal grant application launched.

9

3

 

1 Project proposal grant (PPG) project completed

1 PPG matched before project implementation grant application launched

4

1

1 Project implementation grant (PG) application considered by the selection committee

The application was rejected by the selection committee

 

 

Note: Differences in numbers can be due to Members that were not eligible for a PPG because they are a WTO Observer or in arrears, Members who did not wish to take their preliminary or draft applications forward and EoIs, PPGs or PGs in process.

 

2.1.  In the time period of this report, three Expressions of Interest (EoI) were circulated on behalf of LDC Members and two preliminary EoIs were received for a combined total of 78 TFA articles. One preliminary EoI was matched with a partner for all needs identified before it was formally circulated. One circulated EoI generated a positive response, with a development partner stepping forward to offer assistance on some of the measures included. Two circulated EoIs expired without identifying a development partner, project proposal grant (PPG) applications will therefore be drafted for eligible needs.

2.2.  One PPG project was completed in May 2022 following its launch in January. The expert consultant submitted a report, drafted in consultation with the NTFC, which provides a detailed summary of the current situation in two TFA articles designated Category C, articles 5.3 and 10.1. The report includes a potential implementation plan, as well as a draft budget. The report will be circulated to development partners, to seek implementation support. If no assistance is forthcoming, the report will form the basis of an application for a TFAF implementation grant to be considered by the selection committee.

2.3.  One application was considered for a project implementation grant but was refused by the selection committee who did not agree that the proposed intervention would result in the implementation of the Category C articles identified as needing support.

2.4.  Real-time information on successfully matched expressions of interest and approved grants can be found at: https://www.tfafacility.org/assistance-grants/grants-tracker.

3  Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

Activity and date

Desired outcome

No. of participants

Regional workshop with Latin American

Integration Association, (ALADI)

1 – 4 February 2022

Online

Enhance the operation of the national trade

facilitation committee

150+

UNCTAD Global forum 2022 for national trade

facilitation committees,

1 – 4 February 2022

Online

Enhance the operation of the national trade

facilitation committee

200+

One-to-One sessions for LDCs -

10 sessions between March and May 2022

Preparation of TFA notifications

30+

Sénégal session on definitive dates for Cat C with NTFC 5 May 2022

Preparation of TFA notifications

20

Maldives session on reinforcement of NTFC 23 May 2022

Enhance the operation of the national trade

facilitation committee

15

 

3.1.  TFAF offered one on one sessions with interested LDC Members to follow up on the letter[1] from the Chair of the Trade Facilitation Committee, reminding LDC Members of the 22 August 2022 deadline for the category C definitive dates.  These meetings were offered in March and May and will be offered again in July.  At these meetings the Member's notification status is reviewed.  For any notifications not yet provided guidance is offered on, for example, how to find and complete the relevant template, and to find assistance to complete the notifications.   Information on TFAF activity request forms and the grants is also offered. 

3.2.  10 sessions were conducted in the period covered by this report, upon request by both TFAF and WTO Secretariat colleagues that support the TFC.  To date the meetings led to one online session with Sénégal (described in the table above), hosted by the World Bank and two grant expressions of interest (included in the summary under point 3.1 above) being launched. Follow-up sessions with partner organisations, additional TFAF activity requests and expressions of interest have been drafted as outcomes of these meetings and will be circulated as they are validated and approved by Members. Additional impacts will be monitored in terms of notifications submitted to the WTO TF Committee and reported to future meetings and in the Annual Report.

3.3.  TFAF coordinated with the General Secretariat of the Association of Latin American Integration Organization (ALADI), to conduct a "Second Latin American Meeting of National Trade Facilitation Committees" from 1-4 February.  This virtual workshop was a follow-up to a similar event held in 2019 and aimed to strengthen the national committees. It was attended by more than 150 participants from National TF Committees from 17 countries.  Speakers included experts from the Market Access Division, UNCTAD, and the WCO, as well as the participants.

3.4.  An online discussions session with the Maldives and including representatives of UNCTAD was held on 23 May 2022. Contact was also made with the Asian Development Bank for potential follow-up.

4  Engagement with Annex D and Development partners

4.1.  TFAF continues to stay in close communication with its partner organizations to provide information that can support partners' role in TFA implementation, enhance coordination and avoid duplication. Cooperation with Annex D partners continues to play an essential role in the TFAF grant program, with partners receiving and engaging with all expressions of interest and at the project preparation stage to avoid any duplication of efforts.

5  WEBSITE – WWW.TFAFACILITY.ORG

5.1.  The migration of the TFAF website to an updated software platform has now been completed.  The English language version went live in November 2021, the French version in March 2022, and the Spanish version in April.  Testing of this website will continue and improvements to all versions will be made to remedy any issues resulting from the migration process.  

5.2.  This updated platform allows for more security and features, such as password protected pages, which enabled responding to Members' request for the creation of tools such as the password protected "activity tracker" that was launched in November 2021 and formalised in the new governance framework G/TFA/3.

5.3.  The purpose of the activity tracker is to provide transparency to requests for technical assistance from Members, or organizations representing Members, and allow Members to request additional information about the request. 

5.4.  As soon as TFAF receives an activity request from a Member, or Member organization, through the on-line form[2], the request is posted on the activity tracker.  An email is sent to all Members that have asked for access to the tracker to inform them that a new request has been posted.  

5.5.  Any Member can request a username and password to access the activity tracker by writing to Aisha.sarr@wto.org or TFAF@wto.org (One username and password will be issued per Member).

5.6.  During this period information was included to the grant tracker page on Expressions of Interest that successfully led to the identification of a development partner, and more details have been added to the project preparation grant information on the same page.



[1] Letters were sent on January 24, 2022, and informed Members that TFAF could provide assistance.