Constitution of National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF)
Govt. of India vide Order dt. 11 Aug. 2016 has formed a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) as part of the mandatory, institutional arrangement of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), as under:
GoI/ MoF/ DoR ORDER dt. 11 Aug. 2016
The formation of a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) is part of the mandatory, institutional arrangement of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA). Article 23.2 of the TFA requires each WTO member to establish and/or maintain a NCTF or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate both domestic co-ordination and implementation of TFA provisions.
After the recent ratification of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement by the Cabinet, the government has decided to constitute a National Committee on Trade Facilitation in India.
The NCTF will have a three tiered structure as below:-
i) National TF committee- Representatives of all stakeholders included.
ii) Steering committee- A subset of the National committee with a core group of public and private membership.
iii) Working groups- Small & adhoc groups of experts from relevant institutions working on a specific trade facilitation measure or project.
The Secretariat of the NCTF will be housed in the CBEC and Directorate General of Export Promotion will service the Secretariat.
Terms of Reference of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF)
(i) Finalization and approval of the national trade facilitation plan for implementation of provisions of the Trade Facilitation Agreement based on the categorization of provisions notified to the WTO with clearly defined timelines for each provision or sub-provision. The national trade facilitation plan should comprise sub-plans for each agency involved in the implementation of TFA.
(ii) Finalization and approval of an outreach program on Trade Facilitation comprising specific activities to be conducted for the education of stakeholders and for obtaining their regular feedback and the identification of agencies that would conduct these activities.
(iii) Monitoring progress of TFA implementation and the outreach program and proposing corrective measures wherever necessary based on feedback received through the outreach program.
(iv) Contributing to the legislative changes required to support implementation of the TFA.
(v) Dissemination and compilation of international best practices of formalities, procedures, documentation and related matters of the various Articles of TFA to stakeholders within India and in the region.
(vi) Coordination and integration of the Trade Facilitation plan with the consultative mechanism at state and local level.
(vii) Monitoring the work of the steering committee and the working groups.
The Committee shall meet twice a year and submit an annual report to the Government about the progress made in the implementation of the Agreement along with recommendations to overcome difficulties, if any.
Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee
i) Identification of agencies/ departments involved in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, provision-wise.
(ii) Conducting a gap analysis to assess the degree of compliance or non-compliance of the concerned agency(ies)/ department(s) with each provision of the TFA.
(iii) Identification of the nature of change required for achieving full compliance with each provision e.g. change in primary law, change in subordinate legislation, change in procedure, issuance of appropriate instructions, creation of fresh infrastructure etc.
(iv) Estimation of time required to carry out the appropriate changes taking into account the categorization of commitments into Categories A and B notified to WTO.
(v) Collation of a national trade facilitation plan based on these inputs and sub-plans for each agency/ department.
(vi) Submission of the national trade facilitation plan to the NCTF for approval.
(vii) Obtaining periodic inputs from the concerned agencies/ departments about the Progress in implementation of the plan and submission of a progress report to the NCTF in advance of each meeting.
(viii) Preparation of agenda and identification of decision points for each meeting of the NCTF so as to address issues/ problems hampering timely implementation.
(ix) Organizing sensitization and information campaigns on TFA implementation.
(x) Coordinating government communication regarding TFA implementation.
(xi) Ensuring publication of the information on import-export and transit procedures as well as on new/ amended laws on movement and clearance of goods. (xii) Report to the NCTF twice a year.
The Steering committee shall meet once a quarter.
Terms of Reference of Working Groups
Working groups on subjects covered in the ToR shall be formed by the Steering committee that will meet monthly.
For details about the composition of NCTF, Steering Committee and Working Groups, please refer the attachment below: