Trade facilitation aims at simplifying and speeding up the customs clearance of goods, thereby reducing costs for business. In response to the growing importance of this issue, newer FTAs negotiate such rules, in particular the main principles of trade facilitation; transparency, simplification and co-operation.
The provisions in this area oblige the contracting parties to, among other things, publish the relevant legislation and customs rates online and to comply with international standards (e.g. the revised Kyoto Convention) when designing customs procedures. Among other things, they specify how duties and charges are to be published. This information and assurances are of great importance in determining whether it is worthwhile importing or exporting with a particular country. Minimum standards were established at international level in 2017 in the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In its FTAs, however, Switzerland aims to agree on more far-reaching provisions in order to achieve conditions that are as binding as possible and thus increase legal security.
FAQs on trade facilitation
The Trade Facilitation Agreement already provides a good basis and creates a certain degree of legal certainty. Any problems that may arise in connection with customs clearance of goods can be discussed and solutions sought much more quickly and easily within the framework of the respective FTA.
Last modification 09.09.2020