The Trade Facilitation Agreement - Section III

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS AND FINAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 23: INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

1 Committee on Trade Facilitation

1.1 A Committee on Trade Facilitation is hereby established.

1.2 The Committee shall be open for participation by all Members and shall elect its own Chairperson. The Committee shall meet as needed and envisaged by the relevant provisions of this Agreement, but no less than once a year, for the purpose of affording Members the opportunity to consult on any matters related to the operation of this Agreement or the furtherance of its objectives. The Committee shall carry out such responsibilities as assigned to it under this Agreement or by the Members. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.

1.3 The Committee may establish such subsidiary bodies as may be required. All such bodies shall report to the Committee.

1.4 The Committee shall develop procedures for the sharing by Members of relevant information and best practices as appropriate.

1.5 The Committee shall maintain close contact with other international organizations in the field of trade facilitation, such as the WCO, with the objective of securing the best available advice for the implementation and administration of this Agreement and in order to ensure that unnecessary duplication of effort is avoided. To this end, the Committee may invite representatives of such organizations or their subsidiary bodies to:

(a) attend meetings of the Committee; and

(b) discuss specific matters related to the implementation of this Agreement.

1.6 The Committee shall review the operation and implementation of this Agreement four years from its entry into force, and periodically thereafter.

1.7 Members are encouraged to raise before the Committee questions relating to issues on the implementation and application of this Agreement.

1.8 The Committee shall encourage and facilitate ad hoc discussions among Members on specific issues under this Agreement with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution promptly.

2 National Committee on Trade Facilitation

Each Member shall establish and/or maintain a national committee on trade facilitation or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of this Agreement.


ARTICLE 24:  FINAL PROVISIONS

1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the term "Member" is deemed to include the competent authority of that Member.

2. All provisions of this Agreement are binding on all Members.

3. Members shall implement this Agreement from the date of its entry into force. Developing country Members and least-developed country Members that choose to use the provisions of Section II shall implement this Agreement in accordance with Section II.

4. A Member which accepts this Agreement after its entry into force shall implement its Category B and C commitments counting the relevant periods from the date this Agreement enters into force.

5. Members of a customs union or a regional economic arrangement may adopt regional approaches to assist in the implementation of their obligations under this Agreement including through the establishment and use of regional bodies. 

6. Notwithstanding the general interpretative note to Annex 1A to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as diminishing the obligations of Members under the GATT 1994.  In addition, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as diminishing the rights and obligations of Members under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

7. All exceptions and exemptions1 under the GATT 1994 shall apply to the provisions of this Agreement. Waivers applicable to the GATT 1994 or any part thereof, granted according to Article IX:3 and Article IX:4 of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and any amendments thereto as of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, shall apply to the provisions of this Agreement.  

8. The provisions of Articles XXII and XXIII of GATT 1994 as elaborated and applied by the Dispute Settlement Understanding shall apply to consultations and the settlement of disputes under this Agreement, except as otherwise specifically provided for in this Agreement.

9. Reservations may not be entered in respect of any of the provisions of this Agreement without the consent of the other Members.

10. The Category A commitments of developing country Members and least-developed country Members annexed to this Agreement in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 15 shall constitute an integral part of this Agreement.

11. The Category B and C commitments of developing country Members and least-developed country Members taken note of by the Committee and annexed to this Agreement pursuant to paragraph 5 of Article 16 shall constitute an integral part of this Agreement.


1.This includes Articles V:7 and X:1 of the GATT 1994 and the Ad note to Article VIII of the GATT 1994.