Trade facilitation concerns how procedures and controls governing the movement of goods across national borders can be improved to reduce cost and shipment time while also improving revenue collection and regulatory enforcement.
Two multilateral agreements set forth trade facilitation “best practices” – the World Customs Organization’s Revised Kyoto Convention, and the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. In addition, the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards policy statement sets forth trade facilitation measures. Myanmar is not a signatory to the Revised Kyoto Convention. However, Myanmar has indicated intent to implement WCO SAFE and as a WTO member, the provisions of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will bind Myanmar when that agreement becomes effective. For information about the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, click here.
ASEAN’s ATIGA also has trade facilitation provisions set forth in Articles 45 –50. In addition to improving regulatory transparency, simplification of procedures, non-discrimination of regulations, the use of new technologies, and improved cooperation between border agencies, Article 50 requires the development of national single windows, which will then be linked to an ASEAN single window. Myanmar Customs is now implementing a new IT system, MACCS, which will be the basis for a national single window.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) The basic rules governing food safety and animal and plant health standards are covered by the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
SPS measures are those that are used to protect human, animal, or plant life or health from risks that come from the spread of pests and diseases, or from additives, toxins, or contaminants found in food, beverages, or feedstuffs.
The SPS Agreement requires that WTO members establish a national “Enquiry Point" to answer enquiries from other members regarding the technical requirements and SPS- related measures for products sold in their countries. Click on the link to visit the Myanmar SPS Enquiry Point Web page.
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) describes the rights and obligations of WTO members concerning the development and use of technical measures that affect product trade.
The purpose of the TBT Agreement is to reduce barriers to trade resulting from different technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures from one country to another, while also providing members with the right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or the environment.
The TBT Agreement requires that WTO members establish a national “Enquiry Point" to answer enquiries from other members regarding the technical requirements for products sold in their countries. Click on the link to visit the Myanmar TBT Enquiry Point web page.