Types of Technical Assistance Requested

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

May occur following the decision to construct or acquire facilities and accommodation, and install and upgrade new or additional implementation tools, including information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as virtual networks, automated solutions, and scanners. ICTs have been identified in a number of case stories on trade facilitation reforms as one of the key factors in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of a number of specific trade facilitation measures, such as x-ray scanners to complement risk management procedures and computerized system to submit electronically and process pre-arrival documents.

Infrastructure and Equipment 

May occur following the decision to construct or acquire facilities and accommodation, and install and upgrade new or additional implementation tools.  Although equipment and infrastructure do not always constitute a prerequisite to implement most trade facilitation measures, they are usually considered to be the most expensive components of trade facilitation reform.

 Legislative and regulatory framework

 May occur when existing pieces of national legislation have to be amended or a new legislation has to be adopted in order to implement specific trade facilitation measures. For instance, in the absence of laws recognising the legal status of electronic documentation, any electronic documents must continue to be accompanied by its paper equivalent. A change in the legislation is therefore often required to authorize and recognize the validity of electronic data submission between agencies and digital signatures. Such costs usually involve time (depending on the country’s legal framework), staff specialized in legislative and regulatory issues, and sometimes external experts.

 Institutional procedures

 May arise when new units have to be established or existing units have to be re-structured in order to perform specific trade facilitation functions more efficiently, either by redeploying existing staff or recruiting additional staff. For instance, the introduction of post-clearance audit, the application of risk management procedures or the establishment of a central enquiry point might require a dedicated team of administrative, operational and support staff.


May arise when transparency and communication strategies are implemented to promote a greater involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors, including through a better understanding of the trade facilitation reform’s elaboration and progress achieved. The support, participation and ownership of relevant stakeholders tend to facilitate not only the introduction, but also the sustainability of a number of trade facilitation measures.

Human resources and training 

Arise when users in border management agencies and the trading community have to learn new ways of complying with the trade facilitation formalities and operations. Training is often viewed as the most important element in implementing trade facilitation measures, since trade facilitation reform is mainly about changing border agencies’ practices and behaviours. The level of training costs depends on whether new expert staff are hired, or whether internal or transferred staff are trained on the job or in a training centre. Recruiting new expert staff is usually considered to be the most costly option, because it not only often requires a budgetary increase but also the direct availability of skilled experts in the domestic labour market.

Diagnostic and Needs Assessment 

Arise prior to the actual implementation of trade facilitation reform to identify the trade facilitation needs, set realistic reform priorities and prepare a practical implementation strategy. Diagnostic costs usually involve time and national and/or external experts to consult with relevant stakeholders and formulate concrete action plans based on the information collected. 

To be determined 

The Member has not yet provided the type of assistance it requires in its category C notification. 

For an analysis of the technical assistance requested by a specific Member, please visit the Member profiles

About the TFA Database

The content and analytical functionalities of the WTO TFA Database are based solely on notification data submitted by Members as mandated under the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

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