International trade is the engine of the global economy. More people, goods and services are crossing borders than ever before. But trade is changing — today, products and the services that go with them are sourced from all over the world.
As goods cross borders many times, first as inputs and then as final products, fast and efficient customs and port procedures are essential. Unduly complex processes and documentation raise costs and cause delays, and ultimately, businesses, economies and consumers bear the cost. Conversely, a country where inputs can be imported and goods and services can be exported within quick and reliable timeframes is a more attractive location for foreign firms seeking to invest.
To help governments improve their border procedures, reduce trade costs, boost trade flows and reap greater benefits from international trade, OECD has developed a set of trade facilitation indicators that identify areas for action and enable the potential impact of reforms to be assessed. Estimates based on the indicators provide a basis for governments to prioritise trade facilitation actions and mobilise technical assistance and capacity-building efforts for developing countries in a more targeted way.
The OECD indicators cover the full spectrum of border procedures for 152 countries across income levels, geographical regions and development stages.
The TFIs take values from 0 to 2, where 2 represents the best performance that can be achieved. They are calculated on the basis of information in the TFIs database.
Information availability: Publication of trade information, including on internet; enquiry points
Involvement of the trade community: Consultations with traders
Advance rulings: Prior statements by the administration to requesting traders concerning the classification, origin, valuation method, etc., applied to specific goods at the time of importation; the rules and process applied to such statements
Appeal procedures: The possibility and modalities to appeal administrative decisions by border agencies
Fees & charges: Disciplines on the fees and charges imposed on imports and exports
Formalities (Documents): Electronic exchange of data; automated border procedures; use of risk management
Formalities (Automation): Simplification of trade documents; harmonisation in accordance with international standards; acceptance of copies
Formalities (Procedures): Streamlining of border controls; single submission points for all required documentation (single windows); post-clearance audits; authorised economic operators
Internal border agency cooperation: Co-operation between various border agencies of the country; control delegation to customs authorities
External border agency cooperation: Co-operation with neighbouring and third countries
Governance & impartiality: Customs structures and functions; accountability; ethics policy