New Trade Facilitation Committee Established.
New National Trade Facilitation Committeeto deliberate on pertinent trade and trade related issues as well as challenges being faced by border agencies and private sector launched.
Thursday 1st September2015-Victoria:The Minister for Finance, Trade and Blue Economy, Jean Paul Adam officially launched the Seychelles’ National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) during a meeting held earlier this week. The establishment of the National Trade Facilitation Committee reflects one of the first major milestones following Seychelles’ recent accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in April of 2015.
The creation of this committee is expected to greatly enhance the democratic process of participation and inclusiveness, where private sector will have a greater say in the formulation of policies and procedures that have an impact on their activities. Sector being represented on the committee includes government ministries, local agencies, partners and stakeholders.
This initiative will also contribute towards a more dynamic business community, where the benefits accrued such as reduced cost and clearance time of goods, are expected to have a positive impact on the cost of living.
In addressing the forum, Minister Adam pointed out that this Committee will benefit primarily the private sector and consequently called upon their active participation. He equally stressed on the importance of Government institutions to work towards an enabling environment for the private sector by taking on constructive criticism positively.Minister Adam stated that this forum will no doubt contribute positively towards improving the environment for ease of doing business in Seychelles.
The NTFC, which was established by virtue of the implementation of Section III of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), will provide a forum for all relevant national stakeholders including the private sector to contribute towards the betterment of Seychelles’ trading system, particularly in overcoming challenges hindering trade at the border.
Also present during this launching ceremony, was the Principal Secretary for Finance and Trade, Mr. Patrick Payet, and the Assistant Commissioner of Customs Division, Mr. Selwyn Knowles.
[Composition of the Committee includes: the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Seychelles Revenue Commission, Ministry of Health, Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry for Fisheries and Agriculture, Seychelles Agriculture Agency, Seychelles Fishing Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ministry of Environment and Energy, The Office of the Attorney General, Seychelles Port Authority, Air Seychelles, Department of Information Communication & Technology, Seychelles Chamber of Commerce Industry, Representative of Clearing Agents, Handling Agents, Seychelles Bureau of Standards, Fisheries Inspection and Quality Control Unit]
The negotiations on trade facilitation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) were initiated in the Singapore WTO Ministerial Conference in December 1996 where Member States directed the respective WTO Council to undertake explanatory and analytical work on the simplification of trade procedures. After several years of exploratory work, WTO Member States formally agreed to launch negotiations on trade facilitation in July 2004. Under this mandate, member states were directed to clarify and improve General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) Article V (Freedom of Transit), Article VIII (Fees and Formalities connected with Importation and Exportation), and Article X (Publication and Administration of Trade Regulations).
TheNational Trade Facilitation Committee was born out of Seychelles’ intention to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA was agreed by WTO Members at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, and officially adopted by the WTO General Council in November 2014.
According to the WTO, the TFA makes provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods including goods in transit. The Articles therein, also establish measures designed to promote the effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. The Agreement further provides for technical assistance and capacity building to allow members the opportunity to develop the required capacity in order to effectively implement the provisions of the Agreement.
For more information please contact:
Mrs Marie-May Bastienne - Public & Media Relations Consultant - Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy