chapter  16
6 Pages

Trade Facilitation

The World Trade Organization (WTO, 2002a) defines trade facilitation as ‘the sim-

plification and harmonization of international trade procedures’. And it defines

these procedures as the ‘activities, practices and formalities involved in collecting,

presenting, communicating and processing data required for the movement of

goods in international trade’ (WTO, 2002a). This definition covers a wide range of

activities, such as transport formalities, import and export procedures (for exam-

ple, customs or licensing procedures) and payments, insurance and other financial

requirements. Trade facilitation has not historically been a subject of discussion for

negotiation in the multilateral trade regime, as a brief history shows (box 16.1).