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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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Implementation of trade facilitation measures remains weak in Sub-Saharan Africa

Trade facilitation measures are key in offsetting some of the time and cost increases experienced by firms and consumers against a backdrop of continued supply chain disruptions. Based on the analysis of its Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) assesses in a new trade policy paper titled “Trade facilitation reforms worldwide- state of play in 2022”, the progress and challenges in trade facilitation reforms on a global scale, including as these relate to the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

In particular, the OECD paper notes that despite in the latest 3 years (from 2019 to 2021) almost all countries in the world made significant progress in developing regulatory frameworks for trade facilitation, their implementation still remains weak in some regions. This gap, the report concludes, is particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it reaches a measure that is almost twice that in Europe and Central Asia.

As shown in the figure below, there is progress across all regions particularly with respect to information availability and simplification of fees and charges. In Sub-Saharan Africa, an area where progress is more modest is the internal (intra-agency) and external (inter-agency) cross-border co-operation, as well as appeal procedures against decisions of customs authorities and (not surprisingly), the automation of border procedures. It has to be noted that the recently published United Nations Global Report for Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation came to similar results.

 

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