The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has a long history of promoting the benefits of trade facilitation – often referred to as the simplification and harmonization of international trade procedures and customs modernization – on behalf of the global business community.
ICC has brought this issue to the attention of governments with its International Customs Guidelines and was a strong supporter of including customs facilitation on the agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the 1996 WTO Singapore Ministerial Conference. ICC is encouraged by the progress made to date by the WTO on trade facilitation. To continue the work accomplished so far and address the realities of global trade today, ICC recommends that the WTO focus on the key objectives outlined in this statement and adopt binding multilateral rules on trade facilitation.
Global trade today
The reduction of tariff and other trade barriers during successive GATT rounds has increased the focus of commercial attention on the serious practical constraints that still delay transactions at many national frontiers. The demand for, and ability to supply, rapid trade movements has been greatly increased by multimodal through-transport, and electronic commerce, and is reflected in globally integrated, just-in-time supply production and distribution systems. For these developments to have maximum benefit, they must be accompanied by the rigorous and efficient application of simple, predictable and uniform controls by customs, and the other official bodies that operate at the border.
- Global trade today
- WTO rules on trade facilitation and customs modernization benefits customs and trade
- WTO rules are necessary for consistent reform
- Assistance for developing countries
- Binding rules to simplify global trade today