Overcoming Border Bottlenecks

The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation

image of Overcoming Border Bottlenecks

International trade has grown rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to the progressive reduction of tariffs and quotas through successive rounds of multilateral trade liberalisation. However, this progress brings to light one of the remaining weak links of international trade, which prevents countries from drawing full benefits from the advantages of open global markets: border bottlenecks generated by inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities. This book brings together six studies that examine to what extent and in which ways the costs of inefficient border processes influence trade and investment flows, how institutional and political factors affect the design and implementation of efficiency-enhancing measures, whether the expected benefits of these measures enough to justify the expenses of putting them in place, and whether the expenses involved are within the reach of developing and least developed countries, especially in light of other development priorities.

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The Cost of Introducing and Implementing Trade Facilitation Measures

This chapter seeks to analyse the costs of introducing and implementing trade facilitation measures, in response to the WTO 2004 Modalities for Negotiations on Trade Facilitation, which decided to “address the concerns of developing and least-developed countries related to cost implications of proposed measures”. It draws on the experience of 15 non-OECD member countries, which have recently introduced, or are in the process of introducing, trade facilitation measures proposed for inclusion in a future WTO agreement on trade facilitation. The aim of the study was to provide indications as to the relative complexity of the measures, the challenges presented by their implementation and approaches for overcoming such challenges in practice.

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