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Enhancing Public Availability of Customs Information

In the Islamic Countries



Going Beyond the TFA

: The case studies show that many countries—and not just

developed ones, but also some middle income countries—have already moved well

beyond the TFA in terms of making trade-related information publicly available. The

TFA should be seen as a basic benchmark, not an objective. Developing countries looking

to attract trade and investment, particularly through GVCs, should try to go beyond the

TFA to incorporate cutting edge technologies and strong commitments to transparency

and the rule of law in trade governance.


South-South Technical Assistance

: Not all world leaders in pubic availability of trade

information are developed or high income countries. Some middle income countries are

also very strong performers, such as Morocco and Malaysia, and even Senegal. There is

considerable scope for a diverse organization like the OIC to promote South-South

knowledge exchange in this area, with the aim of developing relatively low cost but

efficient systems to disseminate information and reduce informational trade costs in the

developing world.


Synergies between SingleWindows and Trade Information Portals

: In the post-TFA

environment, many developing countries will be looking to work simultaneously on

Single Windows—preferably virtual—and TIPs. There is a strong argument for

combining these efforts to produce a single online interface that combines the

transaction processing power of a Single Window with a comprehensive repository of

trade-related laws, regulations, rules, procedures, and documents, as is commonly

associated with a TIP. The synergy between PortNet and TradeSense in Morocco is an

example of this process in action in a middle income country. As a second best,

piecemeal online sources can link to other relevant material, so that navigation is

simplified for the trade community.

Based on the field visit case studies, it is possible to formulate the following roadmap for

upgrading performance in the three regional groups, based on what was observed in the three

countries studied:

African Group


Work with international organizations like the World Bank and the major aid agencies

to expand existing technical and financial assistance in the framework of TFA

implementation to improve existing structures for disseminating information.

10. Work to move from the use of printed materials to disseminate information to the use

of information technology solutions.


Complete the development of NTFCs and engage in dialogue with the private sector to

identify the priorities for public information availability.

12. Work within NTFCs to develop TIPs and other online resources, including electronic

Single Windows, that provide access to the rules and regulations governing trade

procedures, key documents and forms, and applied tariff rates.


Use TIPs and electronic Single Windows to facilitate online trade procedures in so far as

possible, including for inquiries related to trade procedures, as well as fees and duties,

and for advance rulings.

14. Within the above framework, develop a realistic level of ambition for TFA

implementation over the medium term, emphasizing Category A and B notifications,

with a minimum of material in Category C.


Develop institutional and governance structures so that more advanced aspects like

advance rulings and appeal procedures can be implemented in greater breadth and

depth over time.