The current trade facilitation reforms in Tajikistan in light of implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) were discussed during a three-day national workshop conducted on August 14-16, 2018 in Dushanbe.
Tajikistan public and private stakeholders dealing with trade facilitation were brought together by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to discuss prioritization, sequencing and implementation of the country’s trade facilitation reforms and its related commitments. The event is organized under the ITC’s Global Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX) funded by the Government of Switzerland and with support from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan (MEDT).
Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, opened the workshop and encouraged participants from both public and private sector to actively take part in the sessions to achieve tangible deliverables in the end of the workshop. Public sector was represented by the ministries of economic development and trade, agriculture, and transport, Tax Committee, Customs Service, Tajikstandart, and other agencies. Private sector representatives included Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Private Sector Development Union, Association of International Road Carriers of Republic of Tajikistan “ABBAT”, Customs Brokers Association, International Exporters Association, and etc.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force on 22 February 2017, is a World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement requiring its members to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. Dr. Mohammad Saeed, ITC Senior Adviser on Trade Facilitation, says that “the TFA obligates the WTO members to improve customs procedures, transparency and efficiency, as well as cooperation amongst border regulatory agencies and private sector”.
The TFA has 36 provisions and each WTO member is required to self-designate these provisions into three categories and accordingly implement in national legislation. Tajikistan already categorized its A commitments, however B and C categorization has yet to be done. As part of the country’s obligations, Tajikistan is required to implement already categorized provisions. The country has a functional Coordinating Committee on Trade Facilitation Procedures (CCTF) which consists of representatives of the related state agencies, and the members of this committee teamed up with the private sector representatives and the ITC experts are now set to prioritize and sequence the current trade facilitation reforms.
Ms. Alina Fetisova, ITC Trade Facilitation Consultant to Tajikistan, says, at Dushanbe workshop “based on prioritisation and sequencing exercise, participants developed an over-all implementation strategy for category B and C measures, and now project proposals could be further elaborated and submitted to development partners for receiving technical assistance”.
The WTO is an international organization established in 1995 regulating trade among its Members. Tajikistan has gained its membership on 2 March 2013 with technical & advisory assistance provided by the ITC with the Government of Switzerland funding.