A trade facilitation agreement by the World Trade Organization would benefit the supply chain by reducing trade blockages at borders, according to the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group.
Customs procedures are at the heart of such an agreement, and organizational changes are too important to be left alone, GACAG officials said.
The WTO had been considering an agreement during its latest round of negotiations in Doha, but discussions broke down.
Reduced trade barriers would save millions of jobs related directly to the air cargo supply chain, while encouraging economies around the globe. Trade facililation would also have a big impact on how customs currently operates. Among other things, GACAG wants to see online information about customs practices and regulations to reduce the opportunity for confusion. This is all about creating a more transparent operation.
"Salvaging an agreement on trade facilitation… would have an enormously positive effect on the volume and flow of international trade and offer more opportunities for cost efficiencies,” Michael Steen, chairman of GACAG, said in a statement. “A near-term conclusion of a WTO trade facilitation agreement would promote simplification of customs procedures globally, and could be an important impetus to global trade and economic recovery.”
GACAG officials would also like to see customs workers take greater measures to protect sensitive data about shipments. Permitting post-release and post-entry customs audits, a single-window automation system and a reconfiguration of customs penalties and fees are also important measures to take into account. - Jon Ross