India Releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan
21 July 2017
The Government of India, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, launched the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) on 21 July 2017, to align India's border procedures with international best practices and improve the country's Ease of Doing Business. The plan includes a time-bound roadmap containing 76 action plans for reforms, such as reduction of cargo release time and cost, promotion of a transparent and predictable regime, move toward paperless trade, and better investment climate through world-class infrastructure.
Mr. Vanaja Sarna, Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, emphasizes that the NTFAP's 76 action plans reflect the Government's commitment to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The NTFAP details short-term, mid-term, and long-term initiatives to be carried out by various regulatory agencies, including Customs, Food Safety and Standards Authority, Foreign Trade, Plant Quarantine, and planned infrastructure to boost connectivity, including transport infrastructure leading to ports, airports, and Land Customs stations. A Steering Committee will monitor implementation of the NTFAP.
Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, World Customs Organization, remarked on India's strategic position in pushing forward the region's trade facilitation agenda by providing transit to many South Asian countries. He noted the importance of implementing NTFAP’s concrete steps.