German Alliance for Trade Facilitation

Dear readers,

We are happy to celebrate with you the second anniversary of the foundation of the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation. Over the last two years, we have established close working relations with our dedicated partners and have further extended our powerful network. Together, we have implemented our first projects and thereby achieved significant cost and time reductions in trade procedures.

On this occasion, we are very happy to announce the launch of our new website, Be sure to explore the different sections, which will help you stay up to date on all Alliance activities, but for now, find the newest insights from the German Alliance and its projects, as well as activities of the Global Alliance, below.

We wish you a wonderful festive season and look forward to continuing our collaboration in 2019.

    German Alliance - News from Germany

    In this section, you will find information on our activities in Germany.

    Fourth Working Meeting

    We would like to warmly thank Bosch Engineering GmbH for hosting the Alliance’s fourth biannual working meeting on September 20 and 21, 2018. At its modern engineering site in Abstatt, Germany, we adopted our new external communications strategy, gathered our partners’ input on current and potential projects, and refined our Alliance vision for 2022. Many thanks to all of our partners for their active engagement in the Alliance. We are looking forward to our next working meeting on March 14, 2019 in Lübeck, Germany, hosted by Dräger.

    Working Group Digitization

    In Abstatt, our partners indicated interest in further exploring pilot ideas on how to use blockchain technology for trade facilitation. On November 16, in a workshop in Berlin, Alliance partners identified several potential pilot ideas. Interested Alliance members will now discuss the identified issues and opportunities within their organizations and decide if and which of the suggested challenges they would like to develop further in the Alliance. Please contact us if you are also interested in contributing to this matter.

    German Alliance - News from Projects

    In this section, you will find information on our country projects.


    Public and private project partners have aligned and defined the project approach. The overall objective is to rationalize import and export documents and procedures in preparation for an efficient introduction of the automated single window. This is expected to reduce the number of cargos at the border due to insufficient documentation and to reduce the time and cost for import and export compliance. We now aim at formalizing the project with the government partners, taking into account the recent restructuring of government institutions, and plan project implementation.


    Taking account of the project scoping results from May to September and positive feedback from all stakeholders, the project will concentrate on supporting the development of a consistent, functional, and effective basic risk-management scheme with the Indonesian Ministry of Trade. This will help to facilitate cross-border trade and effectively identify illicit trade at the same time. We now aim at formalizing the project together with the Indonesian government and prepare project implementation.


    DHL Express has submitted a proposal for a pre-arrival processing project in Moldova similar to the ones the Alliance completed in Balkan countries. Currently, DHL Express, the Moldovan Customs, representatives from the private sector, and GIZ Moldova are in continuous exchange to prepare project implementation activities.


    The pre-arrival system was officially implemented on July 6, 2018, successfully completing the project. To ensure sustainability, the work for Montenegro continues. The process of legal authorization and access to the system for all operators is ongoing. With this step, we expect a further significant enhancement in customs clearances.  


    The pre-arrival system in Serbia was successfully introduced, allowing companies to now register to the system. Thanks to this, the Serbian customs authority expects a significant improvement in the fast clearance of goods. A final validation workshop will take place in January 2019. This success has already motivated Central European Free Trade Agreement countries in the Western Balkans to implement similar projects, using Montenegro and Serbia as a role model for project implementations. You can find more information on this up-scaling process in the Western Balkans on our website.


    From November 13 to 15, 2018, we conducted a pre-scoping mission to Kiev. The objective of the mission was to collect views, feedback, and information from key Ukrainian stakeholders to explore the feasibility and focus areas of a potential project. Representatives of the public and private sector welcomed the initiative to support Ukraine’s commitment to trade facilitation. The stakeholders expressed interest to engage in a project scoping process. We will thus continue to work with the government, business associations and companies in order to determine possible project topics.

    Global Alliance - News from Projects  

    The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is continuously working on its current projects and screening for potential new opportunities.

    Please contact us for more information on the projects with German Alliance partner participation below. You can also find further projects in Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam on the Global Alliance website.


    The Global Alliance project in Ghana organized a public-private dialogue forum to address the role of the private sector in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. More than 100 representatives from businesses, associations and government agencies discussed the way forward. To improve risk-management and achieve faster release of goods, the project organized a study trip to Germany for Ghanaian border agencies and members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee. German Customs and DHL provided insights into their risk-management systems.


    The implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement did not have the drive of the previous year in Kenyan politics, which affects the progress of the Global Alliance project in Kenya. The project is finalizing formal agreements with the Ministry of Trade and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and is aiming for a similar agreement with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to enhance stakeholder commitment. Together with KRA and the World Customs Organization, the project has prepared the path to conduct a Time Release Study with participation of all border agencies. KRA, KEPSA and ICC Kenya have agreed to organize a public-private dialogue on the private sector’s role in implementing the trade facilitation agreement early 2019.


    Project implementation in Morocco is steadily moving forward, as the Global Alliance’s Steering Group approved the project proposal and a memorandum of understanding was signed in November. The team has organized workshops on the optimization and digitization of weighing processes at Morocco’s main ports and the introduction of an electronic phytosanitary certificate process. On top of that, project partners from the public and private sectors participated in training on business process analysis in Rabat. This lays the ground for the next phase of the project, which will involve conducting a business process analysis until April 2019.


    Project Development
    The Global Alliance team has finalized the first steps to develop a project to support the implementation of the TFA in Nigeria. Given the size of the market and Nigeria’s role in the region, the Global Alliance approach attracted substantial interest from the private sector, by both international and local businesses. On the government stakeholder side, both Nigeria Customs Services and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment were committed to the TFA. A joint planning workshop with public and private sector partners attending in early 2019 should define the project’s goal, scope, milestones as well as the project contributions from all partners. As a basis, the Global Alliance has already conducted a Total Transport and Logistics Cost (TTLC) study to quantify direct and indirect costs associated with cross-border trade in Nigeria, which will help to identify trade facilitation bottlenecks that can be addressed by the project.


    First Pre-Scoping Mission
    In October, the Global Alliance conducted a pre-scoping mission in Tunisia. Key public and private partners expressed their interest in engaging in an Alliance project, which will benefit from the support of the BMZ special initiative on employment and training. The scoping process will start in the first quarter of 2019. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining the process.

    Best regards

    Daniela Zehentner-Capell, Co-Chair of the Alliance Steering Group, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

    Philipp Kruschel, Head of the Alliance Secretariat, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

    Upcoming Events

    • March 14, 2019: Fifth German Alliance for Trade Facilitation Working Meeting at Dräger in Lübeck, Germany

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    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH
    Philipp Kruschel
    Köthener Straße 2-3
    10963 Berlin

    +49 30 338 424 834