On February 22, 2017, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force after receiving four additional ratifications, meeting the required two-thirds acceptance of the agreement from its 164 members.

The TFA “seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms all over the world and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole,” according to the WTO.

It is expected to reduce members’ trade costs by an average of 14.3 percent, according to a 2015 study by WTO economists. The TFA is unique in that developing and least-developed countries are allowed to set their own timelines for implementing the agreement and a Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility was created to aid these countries in receiving the maximum benefits of this multilateral accord.