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TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT: Categorisation matrix of measures B and C of the Agreement

A workshop on the categorisation of measures B and C of the Trade Facilitation Agreement was held at Hotel SAWA in Douala from 2 to 3 March 2023 by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (CONAFE). The objective was to catch up and finalise the notification process through the establishment of final implementation dates for measures under category C.

By way of reminder, the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is a World Trade Organisation (WTO) tool to facilitate the movement of goods across borders and which aims to expedite the transportation, release and clearance of goods, including those in transit. It also provides for measures to ensure effective cooperation between customs and other competent authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. Moreover, it includes provisions on technical assistance and capacity building.

The coordinator of CONAFE's Technical Secretariat, Mr Serge Dimitri Okono Ebanga, chaired the workshop and gave an overview of the categorisation of the above-mentioned measures in line with its missions to simplify foreign trade procedures.

Note that CONAFE’s activities are overseen by the Strategic Orientation Committee, a decision-making body chaired by the Secretary General of the Prime Minister's Office. The Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat has announced another meeting in the near future prior to the submission of the matrix to the WTO. The authors of this matrix, all experts in the domain, unanimously validated its provisions.

In addition to the elaborated categorisation matrix, a technical assistance plan has been envisaged indicating certain needs relating to technical assistance. A committee will be set up to elaborate and fine-tune this second document in order to integrate the detailed and precise evaluation of expressed needs in view of the identification of potential donors and the convening of a brainstorming meeting.

Source: Summary, Cameroon Tribune No. 12805/9004 of 6 March 2023