ISO has partnered with the World Bank Group (WBG) to support ISO member national standards bodies in developing countries, based on their needs, with the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). This will cover areas such as applying good practices for technical barriers to trade and, in particular, implementing conformity assessment procedures.
The partnership arrangement was made at a border agency cooperation workshop that took place from 14 to 16 November 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, where ISO was invited to present on “Standards and trade facilitation”.
The event brought together senior officials from 12 African countries involved in the implementation of the TFA to share experiences and learn from each other. It was organized by the WBG, the WTO Secretariat, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The WBG’s Trade Facilitation Support Program actively supports developing countries to align their trade facilitation laws, procedures and processes to enable implementation of the TFA.
In most developing countries, the ISO member, or national standards body (NSB), is the national enquiry point as required by the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, and may also be a provider of conformity assessment services.
At the event, ISO also committed to provide the WBG with inputs on its TFA-related tools that apply to the activities of NSBs.