India formally ratifies WTO trade facilitation agreement
India on Friday said it has formally ratified the WTO's trade facilitation agreement, which aims at easing customs procedures to boost commerce.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the move would supplement India's ongoing reforms to bring in simplification and enhanced transparency in cross border trade in goods.
India's WTO ambassador Anjali Prasad has handed over the instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azev do. "I am very pleased to receive India's instrument of ratification," Azev do said.
He said that India is one of the most dynamic economies in the world today and has become a top recipient of foreign investment. "Ratifying the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will help India further boost economic growth by reducing trade costs and supporting its integration into the global economy," he added.
Concluded at the WTO's 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference, the TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
The TFA will come into force once two-thirds of WTO members formally accept the Agreement.
India is the 76th WTO member to accept the TFA. The WTO in a statement said that on March 18, India submitted its "Category A notification" to the WTO indicating which provisions of the TFA it intends to implement upon entry into force of the Agreement.