by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington
07 March 2016
Paraguay ratified the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement on March 1, 2016, becoming the 70th WTO member – and the second South American member after Guyana – to do so.
Paraguay is also the first member of the MERCOSUR trade bloc to ratify the TFA, according to a statement from the WTO.
The TFA will create binding commitments across all WTO members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods and improve cooperation among WTO members in customs matters, forming part of international efforts under the Doha Round to cut tax barriers to trade on a global basis. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help least-developed countries implement the TFA. Two-thirds of the WTO’s membership will need to ratify the TFA in order for the agreement to take legal effect.
In addition to Paraguay, the following WTO members have also accepted the TFA: Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Taiwan, China, Liechtenstein, Laos, New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Vietnam, Brunei, Ukraine, Zambia, Lesotho, Georgia, Seychelles, Jamaica, Mali, and Cambodia.