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Singapore’s Commitment to WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement to Benefit Companies: Rikvin

June 17, 2014 - Singapore

Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has confirmed on 11 June 2014 that it will implement all the provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF) when it comes into force by end of July next year. The ATF is agreement that aims to simplify customs and border procedures of WTO member countries. Rikvin recognizes that it will help Singapore-based businesses enjoy higher supply chain efficiency and greater cost savings.
The ATF, which was concluded after more than 9 years of negotiations, is set to decrease trade costs by 10% - 15%, according to OECD estimates. It has seen commitments from other WTO members including Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Mexico and South Korea. Developed country members are not required to notify any commitments, as they are expect to fully implement the provisions of ATF, immediately upon its force. WTO members that are developing countries may instead notify WTO by end of July 2014 whether they will implement all or some of provisions next year.
ATF’s key provisions include the following:
  • Ensuring the publication and availability of customs information
  • Issuing traders with advance rulings on their goods
  • Providing traders with appeal and review procedures
  • Disciplining fees and charges for importation and exportation
  • Ensuring procedures for the release and clearance of goods and
  • Disciplining formalities on importation, exportation and transit


Singapore has been a crucial trade hub in the Asia Pacific region. According to IE Singapore, its trade ecosystem includes a wide network of Free Trade Agreements and Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements, low cost trade financing, and sophisticated risk management solutions including insurance companies and world class arbitration facilities. In addition, it has already attracted 20 of the 25 leading global logistics players to service companies that rely on smooth movement of goods across the world. An IBM survey added that Singapore-based companies save up to $1 billion per annum from using the country’s online single window submission system, TradeNet.  

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Chief Operating Officer of Rikvin, said, “The ATF will have a positive impact on Singapore companies engaging in trade and those keen to pursue opportunities in other WTO member countries. Companies often have to go through rigorous customs procedures while moving goods across the border, which results in loss of time and increased costs. The ATF facilitates reduces the burden of complicated border procedures and regulations, making lead time at the ports and airports shorter and ultimately raises operational efficiencies of businesses.” 

“Singapore saw 4.9% economic growth in first quarter, 0.4% growth in total external trade in May and 4.6% growth in the manufacturing sector in April. Singapore is in a good position to attract trading companies that want to benefit from its trade ecosystem as well as the ATF when it comes into effect. We anticipate that more companies will be interested in the Global Trader Programme and opt for company registration in Singapore,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.


Established in 1998, Rikvin has partnered with thousands of investors, entrepreneurs and professionals who want to work or do business in Singapore. Rikvin’s areas of expertise include company Singapore company registration, accounting, taxation and other related corporate services. Rikvin is also a licensed employment agency and offers a full spectrum of Singapore work visa services for foreign professionals who wish to relocate to Singapore.
20 Cecil Street, #14-01, Equity Plaza, Singapore 049705
(+65) 6320 1888 

Source: Business Wire India


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