When policymakers talk about “trade facilitation”, they are referring to a specific set of measures that streamline and simplify the technical and legal procedures for products entering or leaving a country to be traded internationally. Trade facilitation covers the full spectrum of border procedures, from the electronic exchange of data about a shipment, to the simplification and harmonisation of trade documents, to the possibility to appeal administrative decisions by border agencies.
In an interconnected world where goods often cross borders many times as both intermediate and final products, and against a background of supply chain disruptions, trade facilitation policies can:
Trade facilitation is becoming more, not less, important in the digital era. The growing numbers of parcels crossing international borders is both increasing demand and creating new challenges for trade facilitation. Moreover, as part of their response to the challenges at borders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, many economies made increased their use of digital tools to implement measures aimed at streamlining trade processes and documentary requirements
Launched in 2013 and updated every two years, the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs) allow countries to identify strengths and challenges in trade facilitation, prioritise areas for action, and mobilise technical assistance and capacity building in a more targeted way. The OECD TFIs cover the full spectrum of border procedures for more than 160 economies across different income levels, geographical regions, and levels of development. Each TF indicator is composed of several specific, precise and fact-based variables related to existing trade-related policies and regulations and their implementation in practice.
Against a backdrop of supply chain disruptions since 2020, the global regulatory environment for trade facilitation remains dynamic as countries are trying to increase supply chain resilience. This is reflected in the trade facilitation areas that improved most: co-operation between agencies at the border, availability of information on trade procedures, and automation tools to facilitate trade.
Trade facilitation in perishable agro-food products
Border processes for perishable agro-food products involve multiple agencies and raise complex compliance and enforcement issues. Practical approaches are identified to enrich the scope of the existing OECD TFIs with a view to deepening the information base on the performance of trade facilitation policies for perishable agro-food goods.
The compare your country tool allows you to access individual country profiles that provide an overview of trade facilitation performance. The tool offers a dynamic comparison of a selected country with other countries around the world. You can also visualise progress made by the selected country across all TFI areas.
The trade facilitation policy simulator allows you to quickly obtain an overview of the indicators and the key measures driving the overall performance of a selected country and to compare the selected country with other countries. It also allows for the simulation of potential policy reforms: by modifying the data in specific policy areas, you can obtain an “edited” performance bar, showing the impact of policy modifications on the overall performance of the selected country and on its relative performance in comparison to other countries. The information obtained can be shared, referenced or downloaded.
The eleven TFIs take values from 0 to 2, where 2 designates the best performance that can be achieved. The variables in the TFI dataset are coded with 0, 1, or 2. These seek to reflect not only the regulatory framework in the concerned countries, but delve, to the extent possible, into the state of implementation of various trade facilitation measures. The methodology note provides an overview of how the indicators are built and details the data collection process.
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