German Alliance for Trade Facilitation

Dear readers,
This Newsletter provides a quarterly update on the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation. It covers the main activities of the Alliance in Germany and recent developments in Alliance projects abroad.  
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German Alliance - News from Germany

High Level Forum on Trade Facilitation

The German Alliance hosted a High Level Forum on Trade Facilitation in the Museum of Communication in Berlin, Germany. Parliamentary State Secretary, Norbert Barthle, of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development: “Rethinking Trade Facilitation is an invitation to all partner countries, businesses, industry federations, public institutions and the many other actors to come up with and try out new solutions and to develop them further as we go along. The German Alliance for Trade Facilitation offers a suitable framework for this.“

The Deputy Director General of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Dr. Christian Forwick, added: “When it comes to implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement it is essential to have the private sector on board. Its knowledge can contribute substantially to identify major obstacles and addressing these efficiently and as need for dedicated projects. This is why I would like to encourage more entrepreneurs to become members of the Alliance. Let me invite you to take an active role on this work. It's definitely worth it and offers real win-win opportunities.” Further keynotes were held by high-ranking representatives of the private sector.

Under the headline "Rethinking Trade Facilitation" participants of businesses, the World Trade Organization (WTO), industry associations and representatives of partner countries discussed how governments and companies can work together to make trade and customs processes more transparent and efficient. Panelists were

  • Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Dr Christian Forwick, Deputy Director General, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
  • Dr Stefan Mair, Member of the Executive Board, Federation of German Industries (BDI)
  • Dr Thomas Ogilvie, Member of the Management Board, Deutsche Post DHL Group
  • Stojanka Milosevic, Head of Department, Montenegrin Customs
  • Denys Gutenko, Acting Commissioner, Ukrainian State Fiscal Service
  • Alejandro Gamboa-Alder, Secretary of the Council for Trade in Goods, World Trade Organization (WTO)

A video documentation of the High Level Forum can be found under this link.

6th Alliance Working Meeting at BDI in Berlin

Following the High Level Forum on Trade Facilitation, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) invited Alliance partners for the 6th working meeting on 10 September. Participants had interactive exchanges on topics regarding trade facilitation and other current trade topics. Furthermore, two new project ideas were developed within these discussions. One new project aims at establishing a blockchain-based platform for customs valuation in Morocco. The second new project will develop a good-practice manual for companies operating with Serbian customs authorities.

German Alliance - News from Projects

An important part of the Alliance’s work is developing and implementing projects between the private and the public sector in several partner countries.

Ministry of Trade Task Force drives forward Risk Management Implementation

The Indonesian Ministry of Trade deployed a dedicated task force for the implementation of a Risk Management Scheme in cooperation with the Alliance. The task force has started to review and redesign the processes and associated risks of import and export licensing and of post-border controls in order to better target non-compliant goods and reward compliant traders. The work of the task force is set to the improvement of the new risk management scheme.

ASYCUDA Upgrade opens Opportunity for Project Start

An update of the Automated System for Customs Data Analysis (ASYCUDA) in Moldova will open the doors for the development of a pre-arrival processing (PAP) system. In the framework of a project with DHL Express and the GIZ project Economic Policy Advice to the Moldovan Government, a new PAP system is planned to increase the efficiency of customs processes notably, saving time and reducing transaction costs. With the ongoing upgrade of the ASYCUDA system, the basis for the development of a new PAP system is formed.

Preparation of Pre-Arrival Processing System in Progress

Following the successful implementation of a pre-arrival processing system (PAP) in Serbia and Montenegro, the German Alliance is preparing the implementation of the PAP system in the neighboring countries. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and North-Macedonia are all part of the Central European Free Trade Agreement and thus valuable trading partners for European Alliance members. Experiences gathered in Serbia and Montenegro will help to implement the PAP system in their neighbouring countries.

Project Scoping for Trade Facilitation

In Brazil, the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation has concluded the first round of consultations with government stakeholders. Next step in the scoping process is to match political and business interests with regard to the identified trade facilitation issues. An upcoming stakeholder workshop aims at designing a ‘project package’ that can add value to the Brazilian trade facilitation reform agenda.

Start of Project Implementation scheduled for End of 2019

This new project will focus on the harmonization of customs documentation with EU standards. The secretariat of the Alliance had productive consultations with representatives of Ukrainian customs, the Ministry of Trade as well as local and international companies in order to develop a roadmap for this Trade Facilitation project that is now ready to start.

Project Scoping in Thailand started

The German Alliance for Trade Facilitation has conducted a first scoping mission for a Trade Facilitation Project in Thailand. The mission had first consultations with numerous representatives of the private sector as well as the Thai Ministry of Commerce and Thai Customs. Several members of the Alliance have already expressed great interest in a project facilitating trade with Thailand. The importance of Thailand’s economy in the ASEAN region makes a project on Trade Facilitation highly interesting for the Alliance. A second scoping mission is planned for the beginning of 2020.

Global Alliance - News from Projects 

This section covers information about projects of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation that are implemented by GIZ. Further information can be found on the Global Alliance website.

Program Implementations in Morocco in full Swing

eWeighing Project
Site visits to the port of Valencia in Spain and port of Aqaba in Jordan provided valuable input for public-private workshops that will optimize port processes in Morocco. The weighting process is currently a bottleneck for bulk imports to the port of Casablanca. The project focusses on reorganizing the current process and introducing new technologies for faster and safer information treatment.

ePhyto Project
The implementation of the electronic phytosanitary certificates (ePhyto) for the control of imported and exported agricultural products is stepping forwards steadily. Training sessions with the Moroccan Health and Food Safety Office (ONSSA) introduced the ePhyto system to the officers in charge. During these trainings, the ONSSA IT team started connecting its IT system with the ePhyto Hub, in technical collaboration with the United Nations International Computing Center (UNICC).

Joint Work Plan directs the Implementation of Pre-Arrival Customs Process

Together with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Global Alliance has agreed on a joint work plan for the implementation of a risk-based pre-arrival customs process to expedite the clearing of goods. With support from the World Customs Organization (WCO), the current customs processes were assessed and recommendations for the next steps in the implementation of pre-arrival processing were provided to KRA. Further, a collaboration with the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) was formalized after a first set of successful sensitization trainings for Kenyan border agencies on risk assessment. Assisting the agencies in conducting systematic risk analyses will facilitate faster cargo clearance at the border points and thus lead to lower trade costs for businesses.

Stakeholder Agreement driving forward Trade Facilitation in Ghana

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is introducing a fully automated, paperless and risk-based pre-arrival process. The aim of these measures is an increased predictability of custom-clearance times and thus lower trade costs. In order to achieve that goal, the Alliance is cooperating closely with Ghanaian authorities in charge. A recent result of that cooperation is an agreement on risk management measures that will increase the selectivity for inspections. Furthermore, a study for the exact identification of cost- and time-consumption in Ghana is currently under preparation.

Project Concept Validation by Public and Private Sector

The trade facilitation project in Nigeria is taking shape. During a Public-Private Dialogue held in Lagos in June, the public and private stakeholders validated a concept for the project. It aims to standardize and simplify customs-related formalities and procedures and relies on close cooperation between the Nigeria Customs Service, the Ministry of Trade and the private sector. A detailed implementation plan is currently developed together with the project partners focusing on pilot activities for simplifying trade processes at Lagos International Airport.

Project Pre-Scoping in Progress

A dedicated team of specialists from GIZ, the ICC and an independent consultant were undertaking a project pre-scoping mission in Senegal. The goal of this mission was to assess the interest of public and private sector (both local and international) to engage in a trade facilitation project of the Global Alliance. Meetings with represents of Senegalese ministries, local customs authorities as well as with the local and international private sector identified possible entry points for a trade facilitation project to reduce costs and time of trading across borders in Senegal. 

Project Development proceeding

After successful scoping-missions, the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is currently reviewing and evaluating the results of these missions.  The evaluation is largely resting on the elevation of Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC).  Backed by this data, the project development is in full progress and will be completed in a few months. It is the last step before the project implementation can start in 2020.

Best regards,

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

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

+49 30 338 424 834