Trade Facilitation (Eng)

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Trade Facilitation (Eng)

  1. 1. Trade facilitation andSwedish experiences
  2. 2. The National Board of Trade is the governmental agency in The National Board of Trade performs its work for free trade onSweden dealing with foreign trade and trade policy. The Board is three levels:an expert authority on matters concerning international trade. – for an efficiently functioning internal market – for a liberal common EU trade policy towards third countriesThe Board’s task is to promote free trade with transparent rules. – for a strong and transparent multilateral trading systemThe work thus aims at minimising all kinds of obstacles to trade. within the WTOThe Board works broadly to this aim – from acting against tradebarriers and trying to solve trading problems, to performing studies Based on its trade expertise the Board also takes part in developmenton trade matters. Studies are either related to ongoing negotia- cooperation, in the form of activities for trade related capacitytions or more structural analyses concerning trade or issues building.related to trade. The Board continuously provides the governmentwith analyses and background material. www.kommers.seKommerskollegium, oktober 2008 – första tryckningen. ISBN: 978-91-977354-4-5
  3. 3. Trade facilitation andSwedish experiences
  4. 4. IndexPreface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Part 2: Sweden and trade facilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Part 1: Trade facilitation – an overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3 The Swedish context for trade facilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 3.1 The Swedish economy – from an industrial country1 About trade facilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 to a knowledge-based economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 1.1 The trade chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 3.2 The Swedish institutional system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 1.2 Trade facilitation principles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Fundamental rights and freedoms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 1.3 Gains and benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 3.3 Sweden’s trade policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Benefits in quantitative terms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 3.4 Overview of Swedish trade facilitation reforms . . . . . . . . . 26 1.4 How to make trade facilitation happen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 4 Public-Private dialogue in Sweden in trade issues . . . . 30 Facilitation Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 4.1 The Swedish Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302 Trade Facilitation – International Standards Referral process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30and Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Reference Groups for external trade issues . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2.1 United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Dialogue with the business community and the civil society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 UN/CEFACT´s standards and recommendations . . . . . . . 13 4.2 The Swedish Customs cooperation with other UN Layout Key (Figure 2.1 UN Layout Key for governmental agencies and the business community . . . . 31 Trade Documents) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The three Joint Customs Committees UN/EDIFACT: international standard for – Alfred, SAMU and SAPO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Electronic Data Interchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 4.3 Public-private dialogue on e-business and 2.2 World Customs Organization, WCO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 e-business standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 WCO Revised Kyoto Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Working towards standardized electronic WCO HS Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 messages in the 1980s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Revised Arusha Declaration on Customs Integrity . . . 15 Making use of the ICT opportunities in the 1990s . . . . . . 33 WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Cooperation on e-commerce today – private and Facilitate Global Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 public sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 WCO Columbus Capacity Building Programme . . . . . . . . 15 5 SWEPRO – Sweden’s trade facilitation forum . . . . . . . . . 36 2.3 United Nations Conference on Trade and 5.1 The evolution of Sweden’s trade facilitation bodies . . . . . 36 Development (UNCTAD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 SWEPRO: A jointly financed organisation with ASYCUDA – Automated System for Customs Data . . . . . 16 government and trade (1975–1992) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 2.4 International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 5.2 SWEPRO – Sweden’s trade facilitation forum today . . . . 38 2.5 International Maritime Organization (IMO) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Tasks and activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2.6 International Transport Union (IRU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Structure, representation and mandate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 2.7 World Trade Organization (WTO) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 National and international interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 The WTO negotiations on trade facilitation in Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 the Doha Round . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 6 Trade-related enquiry points in Sweden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 6.1 Call Customs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Call Customs and its function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 6.2 Open Trade Gate Sweden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 OTGS and its function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434
  5. 5. 6.3 SOLVIT – Enquiry points where EU Member states B. Time periods between publication and implementation . . 61 work together with cross-border issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 C. Consultation and commenting on new and SOLVIT and its function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 amended rules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617 Authorised trader and risk management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 D. Advance rulings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 7.1 Stairway® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 E. Appeals procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 About the Stairway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 ® F. Other measures to measures to enhance impartiality and non-discrimination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 StairSec® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 G. Fees and chages connected with importation and A systems based approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 exportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Risk Management and COMPACT model . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 H. Formalities connected with importation and exportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 7.2 Inventing the Stairway – A partnership approach . . . . . . . 50 I. Consularization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628 Cooperation among border agencies– Single Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 J. Border agency cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 8.1 Swedish Single Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 K. Release and clearance of goods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Benefits of the Single Window for traders, L. Tariff classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 customs and other border agencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 M. Matters related to goods in transit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Establishment of the Single Window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Customs cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The services covered by the Swedish Single Window . . . 53 Annex 3: A selection of Swedish ministries, government How does the Single Window work? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 agencies and organisations working with trade facilitation . . . . . 64 Business model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Further readings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Promotion and communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Judicial aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 View form the UN: UN/CEFACT recommendations on Single Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559 Regional Cooperation – Cooperation across borders . . 56 9.1 The European Customs Union. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 The Customs Union today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 E-customs and the modernisation of the Community Customs Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 9.2 Cooperation between customs in the Baltic region . . . . . 57 Border agency cooperation between Sweden and Norway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Practical aspects of the Boarder Cooperation Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 The Green Corridor – cooperation between customs authorities in Finland, Russia and Sweden . . . . . 59Annex 1: List of UN/CEFACT recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60Annex 2: WTO trade facilitation negotiations:Summary of the measures proposed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 A. Publication and availability of information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 5
  6. 6. PrefaceSweden is a very trade dependant country. Today EU and OECD. The Board also hosts a tradenearly half of the consumed goods in Sweden is facilitation forum, SWEPRO, for discussions andproduced abroad and imported, while over half information regarding international work in thethe Swedish production is exported. field of trade facilitation. Good conditions for trade thus are crucial for We have noted an interest to take part in Sweden’sSwedish welfare. It has therefore been natural to experiences in the area of trade facilitation. It is ourengage in simple procedures for imports and hope that this publication can be a useful basis forexports, and trade facilitation has been a priority further discussion on these issues.issue since the 1950s. Sweden has also been This publication could not have been realisedan active participant in the international work without a number of experts from the Swedishto elaborate standards and recommendations. Customs, the Swedish Trade Federation, the Swedish And there is surprisingly much to gain from trade Association of Local Authorities and Regions, andfacilitation efforts. According to our analysis of the the Fredholm Consulting, contributing with theirpotential gains from a deal in the Doha time and expertise.round (WTO), trade facilitation would leave a bigger The work has been lead by Linda Laszlo in closeeconomic contribution than agriculture, industrial cooperation with Sofia Persson from the Nationalgoods or services. The benefits from trade facilita- Board of Trade. In addition, Johan Pontén, Henriktion are especially important for developing Isaksson, Sonia Albarello, Hans Flykt and Lottacountries. Ruokonen have also contributed to the publication. The National Board of Trade has the task ofpromoting a free trade with transparent rules. Ourwork thus aims at minimising all kinds of obstacles Stockholm, October 2008to trade. Trade facilitation is an important part ofthis – and increasingly so with decreasing levelsfor tariffs. Trade facilitation is hence becoming anincreasingly important tool for development. The Board actively participates in the global workregarding trade facilitation carried out in interna- Lena Johansson,tional organisations such as UN/CEFACT, WTO, Director-General6
  7. 7. Part 1Trade facilitation – an overview 7
  8. 8. 1 About trade facilitationInternational trade is a key driver for economic growth and development. Countries aretrading more and more with each other resulting in a rapid increase in the volume ofinternational trade. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), international tradehas increased annually by 5,5% during the last decade1. Production is scattered aroundthe globe and international trade has changed from complete goods towards intermedi-ate and sub-assembled products. The increased globalisation of production, alongwith just-in-time logistic techniques, has made companies more dependent on efficientmovement of their goods. “Traditional” trade barriers, such as tariffs, are graduallydisappearing – both through multilateral negotiations and the increase in bilateral andregional free trade agreements. This development has contributed to making the costsof inefficient administration and cumbersome trade procedures more visible. In this first part of the publication we will provide an overview of what trade facilitationis and mechanisms that can be used to achieve trade facilitation.Trade facilitation measures can bring major benefits However, trade facilitation brings maximum impactto both developed and developing countries in only if efforts are joined at an international level.terms of increased competitiveness, reduced Not much is gained if all countries implementcompliance costs, enhanced governmental control, necessary but totally uncoordinated reforms. Theincreased predictability and transparency. full impact of the benefits of trade facilitation will Governments, businesses and other stakeholders occur when countries work together on an interna-are the key actors in trade facilitation. Without tional level, developing and implementing globallypolitical will, it is hard to make trade facilitation accepted recommendations and tools. This is thehappen. Agencies involved in the trade chain need work carried out by international organisationsto work together in a coordinated way. Trade facili- such as the United Nations (UN), the World Tradetation efforts should be carried out in close coop- Organization (WTO) and the World Customseration with the business community. Both parties Organization (WCO).have a clear interest in such a working method.1 WTO, World Trade Report 2008.8
  9. 9. Figure 1.1 The Trade Chain BUY SHIP PAY Order Border Prepare Transport Crossing Payment • Importer • Transporter (Air-, Rail-, • Customs (Import, Export- • Banks • Exporter Road- and Sea related) and Transit Country) • Financial Institutions • Import Country Authorities • Inspection Company • Health Authorities • Other Intermediaries • Export Country Authorities (PSI) • Port Management • Insurance Company • Other Intermediaries • Agriculture Authorities • Chamber of Commerce • Customs Brokers • Export/Import Agent • Other Intermediaries • Licensing Agency • Credit Checking Company • Other IntermediariesSource: UN/CEFACT International Supply Chain Reference Model1.1 The trade chain Figure 1.2 Trade facilitation principles HARMONISATIONTrade facilitation is a concept directed towardsreducing the complexity and cost of the tradetransaction process and ensuring that all these TRANSPARENCY SIMPLIFICATIONactivities take place in an efficient, transparent and TRADEpredictable manner. FACILITATION PRINCIPLES It relates to a wide range of areas and activitiessuch as government regulations and controls,business efficiency, transportation, information andcommunication technologies as well as payment STANDARDISATIONsystems. Customs play a central role in the trade chainbut in order to achieve trade facilitation all agencies Transparency – ensuring that information, requirements and processes for crossing borders are clear and specific and easilyat the borders must be involved. accessible for all involved. The figure 1.1 shows examples of possible parties Harmonisation of applicable laws and regulations.involved in a trade transaction. Standardisation of information and requirements and the use of ICT to exchange information efficiently. Simplification of administrative and commercial formalities, procedures and documents.1.2 Trade facilitation principlesThe National Board of Trade considers the funda- 1.3 Gains and benefitsmental principles for trade facilitation to betransparency, harmonisation, standardisation and There are great potential gains to receive from tradesimplification. To achieve trade facilitation in the facilitation. Time and money are wasted because ofbest possible way, full cooperation is necessary outdated trade procedures that hamper business,on these principles between authorities and the stifle growth and hold back economic development.business community, as well as between the Unnecessary and excessive data and documentationdifferent authorities that are involved in the supply requirements, lack of transparency in customs,chain. See Figure 1.2. excessive clearance times, lack of coordination, and the absence of modern techniques, are just a few of the problems contributing to this. The importance 9
  10. 10. of ensuring that trade can flow with minimum kind of trading regime there will be less risk forimpediments, with higher security levels and more corruption and discretionary decision by individualefficient government control methods, has been the officials. Corruption is increasingly recognised asfocus of attention. an important problem that hampers trade and Trade facilitation benefits all stakeholders growth. National government administrations areinvolved – the business community as well as able to utilise modern procedures to enhancegovernments. The business community gains from control, ensure proper collection of revenue andtrade facilitation through faster delivery and at the same time contribute to the economicreduced transaction costs. It is important for traders development through increased trade.that the application of rules is predictable. This will According to the experience of many countries,allow them to know what to expect in their every- the positive results of trade facilitation will further-day contacts with customs and other authorities. more be both greater and more quickly achievedSimple and efficient trade procedures lift the burden through the implementation and use of informationof bureaucracy for companies and they can instead and communication technology (ICT).focus on their core activity. This is particularlyimportant for small and medium sized enterprises Benefits in quantitative terms(SME:s) that face proportionally higher costs for It is difficult to assess the gains from trade facilita-complying with cumbersome procedures than tion in quantitative terms. Trade facilitation reduceslarger companies. In a transparent trade regime the costs associated with trade (so called transactionmarket participants have a clear view of the rules costs). Transaction costs can be further dividedapplied on the respective markets. Their production into direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are feescan thus be based on an accurate assessment of and charges which provide government revenuepotential costs, risks and market opportunities. and employment. Indirect costs, on the other hand,Transparency is also essential for attracting foreign constitute a deadweight loss and do not create anyinvestments. A country with a transparent trading revenue. According to the Organisation forregime and efficient procedures is more likely to Economic Cooperation and Development, theattract foreign investments and increase its interna- OECD, the transaction costs account for betweentional trade 2. 1–15% of the total transaction value of goods The government will also gain from having a being traded 3.transparent trading regime in which the rules andthe procedures are clearly communicated. In this2 WCO, www.wcoomd.org “Benefits of Trade Facilitation”.3 OECD, Policy Brief: “The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation”, Oct 2005.10
  11. 11. 1.4 How to make trade • The coordination and cooperation between customs and other control agencies (for examplefacilitation happen the ministry of agriculture), with the view to achieve a “single window”.Any approach to implementing trade facilitation • The creation of National Trade Facilitation Bodies,measures should take into account the specific in order to achieve the required level of dialoguecircumstances, needs and capacities of individual and cooperation between the public and privatecountries. There is no single solution in pursuing sector (UN/CEFACT Recommendation No. 4).transparency, simplification or any of the otherprinciples. Trade facilitation is strengthened by • The use of “aligned documents”, in particular thealliances and partnerships with international and United Nations layout Key for Trade Documents.local stakeholders in both the public and the private • Establishing “Trade Enquiry Points” where allsectors. The key elements are broad multilateral trade related information is available.cooperation and dialogue between: • Adjusting the opening hours of border crossings• The Government (e.g. ministries of trade, transport, to commercial needs and flexibility to work and finance, including customs, and related outside usual business hours. institutions), in designing and implementing • Publicising laws, procedures and other rules national laws and regulations regarding trade affecting import/export, in a simplified manner and transport. within an agreed timeframe.• The Trading Community (importers and exporters) • Establishing right of appeal for traders in matters who can benefit from such solutions in their arising from the activities of border agencies. international trade transactions and service There should be a timely right of appeal to an providers (transport operators, banks, insurance agency independent of the border agency. companies, etc.) by offering market-oriented • Information and Communications Technologies trade and transport solutions, and lowering the (ICT) are important tools for promoting trade transaction costs of the flow of goods and money. facilitation by enhancing transparency, ensuring consistency and supporting simplification.Facilitation MeasuresExamples of reforms that would increase efficiency, A country may accomplish many trade facilitationtransparency and predictability could be: measures by making national reforms within their• The reduction, simplification and standardisa- own government administrations. However, and as tion of data and documentation required by we have pointed out earlier in this chapter, the full customs and other agencies. impact of the benefits of trade facilitation will occur• The creation of an environment that allows for when countries work together on an international systematic dialogue between government and level, developing and implementing globally the business community. accepted recommendations and tools. Challenges to trade facilitation efforts It has been discussed earlier on in this chapter how much – difficulties in meeting requirements of international standards a country can gain through trade facilitation. However, if the – lack of funds and competing development demands benefits are so evident, why are some countries reticent to commit to trade facilitation? – corruption Conditions which make trade facilitation efforts more These are only examples of negative aspects, but their existence challenging/difficult include: and effect varies widely between individual countries. It is wrong – lack of governments’ political will to make changes to believe that the magic solution is to simply transfer pre-made trade facilitation programmes from one country to another. – lack of trust between the private and public sectors Reforms must be based on the need and current situation in – lack of means to assess and ensure compliance of reforms each particular country 4. – inadequate coordination between governmental agencies4 OECD, Policy Brief: “Trade Facilitation: The Benefits of simpler, more transparent Border Procedures”, Aug 2003; The National Board of Trade; “What is Trade Facilitation? – Basic concepts and benefits”, 2005 and “Trade Facilitation from a Developing Country Perspective”, Sweden, 2003. 11
  12. 12. 2 Trade Facilitation – InternationalStandards and InstrumentsThe purpose of having international standards and instruments on trade facilitation isto ensure that the procedures of international trade work towards the same generaldirection, with compatible tools and globally accepted measures. Reforms on anational level are important, but little is gained if all countries implement necessarybut uncoordinated reforms. As we have already pointed out in chapter 1, the fullimpact of the benefits of trade facilitation will only occur for both the private andpublic sector when countries work together on an international level, developing andimplementing globally accepted recommendations and tools. In this chapter we will present a selection of organisations that have developedstandards, tools and recommendation that are relevant to trade facilitation. The listof organisations described in this chapter is by no means exhaustive. There are anumber of other organisations, both regional and international, that develop relevanttrade facilitation instruments. In addition to this, there is a large body of standardsand recommendations that are elaborated on within specific sectors such astransportation, banking etc.The international community has at its disposal a facilitation would, contrary to the other interna-large number of standards and recommendations tional organisations recommendations, lead toon trade facilitation issues that reflect best practices. binding rules.These standards and recommendations have beenelaborated on by a number of organisations, suchas the World Customs Organization (WCO), the 2.1 United Nations Centre forUnited Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation andElectronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the United Trade Facilitation and ElectronicNations Conference on Trade and Development Business (UN/CEFACT)(UNCTAD) and others. Using international standards and recommenda- UN/CEFACT is the UN Centre for Trade Facilitationtions benefits governments since they do not have and Electronic Business. Its principal focus is onto “reinvent the wheel” but can draw upon existing facilitating national and international transactionssolutions when implementing the trade facilitation through the simplification and harmonisation ofmeasures. For operators trading in various coun- processes, procedures and the flow of information.tries, business is greatly simplified if trade proce- UN/CEFACT works in a practical way with thedures and documentation in these countries are development of tools and recommendationsbased on common standards and, to the greatest through a number of different working groups.possible extent, harmonised. This is particularly UN/CEFACT is located in the UN Economictrue when it comes to electronic exchange of data Commission for Europe (UNECE), which is part ofand documents. the United Nations network of regional commis- The objective of the ongoing WTO negotiation sions. The UN/CEFACT working groups consist ofis to improve and adapt the WTO rules on trade participants from inter-governmental organisations,facilitation to suit today’s trading system. In individual countries’ authorities and also from theproposals in the negotiations, countries make business community.reference to existing standards and instrumentson trade facilitation. The WTO rules on trade12
  13. 13. UN/CEFACT´s standards and recommendations – Recommendation 1, on the United NationsUN/CEFACT has developed a series of trade Layout Key for Trade Documentsfacilitation and e-business standards, recommenda- – Recommendation 25, on the use of UN/EDIFACTtions and tools for international trade. These tools are is the international standard for Electronicavailable for countries or businesses to implement Data Interchange.and they reflect best practices in trade proceduresand data and documentary requirements. There are currently 34 UN/CEFACT trade UN Layout Key Figure 2.1 UN Layout Key for Trade Documentsfacilitation recommendations (see Annex 1 for a The UN Layout Key is ancomplete list). The recommendations are reviewed international model forand updated on an ongoing basis. Some have as simplification and stand-their purpose to reduce the complexity of existing ardisation of documentsprocedures, while others strive to harmonise used in internationaltransaction data or the methods used for data trade. The UN Layout Keytransmission. is a document model The application of these standards and recom- which could contain allmendations by individual countries can vary. It data elements needed in l sadepends on their unique conditions, needs and various trade documents po dis eepriorities, as well as on their resources. However, and set them out in certain Frregardless of how they are applied, UN/CEFACT defined spaces. It alsoargues that these standards should create stipulates paper size, form Source: UN/CEFACT,a solid basis for successful international trading. design and list of items Recommendation No 1 Among the recommendations there are two that to be included.have been approved and endorsed by the Economic Sweden was one of the driving forces behind theand Social Council of the United Nations as Global agreement on this model in 1963. Several stakehold-United Nations Recommendations because of their ers in Sweden had been working on simplifyingimportance on a global level: trade documents. The result of the work was 13
  14. 14. brought into the UNECE and lays as a foundationin the work on the UN Layout Key. Various 2.2 World Customsinternational organisations responsible for banking, Organization, WCOcustoms, freight forwarding and for transport bysea, rail and road aligned their documents to the The World Customs Organization (WCO) is anUN Layout Key. intergovernmental organisation based in Brussels In 1973, the UNECE adopted the Layout Key and established in 1952 under the name Customsand issued it as its Recommendation No 1 “United Cooperation Council. Its mission is to improveNational Layout Key for Trade Documents”. the effectiveness of customs administration by, among other things, creating international instru-UN/EDIFACT: international standard ments for the harmonisation of customs systemsfor Electronic Data Interchange and by effective communication between itsElectronic Data Interchange (EDI) of trade data member states. The WCO today has 174 members.came about when technological developments To fulfil its mission of improving the effectivenessenabled new ways of handling and transmitting and the efficiency of its member, customs adminis-information. Traditionally, the information flows trations across the world, WCO develops andassociated with international movement of goods administers various international instruments, toolshas been in paper format. Now the information and standards for the harmonisation and uniformcould be interchanged electronically. application of simplified and effective customs When using automatic data processing and systems and procedures governing the cross-bordertransmission, a common “language” must be used. movement of commodities, people and means ofTherefore the UN/CEFACT and its predecessor, the transport. Trade facilitation, in the WCO context,UNECE Working Party on Facilitation of Interna- means the avoidance of unnecessary trade restric-tional Trade Procedures, elaborated an international tions. The WCO argues that this can be achievedstandard for EDI: the UN rules for Electronic Data by applying modern techniques and technologies,Interchange for Administration, Commerce and while improving the quality of controls in anTransport (UN/EDIFACT). EDIFACT is defined as internationally harmonised manner. A selectiona set of internationally agreed standards, directories of WCO´s most important conventions, methods,and guidelines for the electronic interchange of standards and capacity building programmes arestructured data, and in particular related to trade mentioned below:in goods and services between independent,computerised systems.14
  15. 15. WCO Revised Kyoto Convention WCO Framework of Standards to SecureThe International Convention on the Simplification and Facilitate Global Tradeand Harmonization of Customs procedures (Kyoto In 2005 the WCO Council adopted the FrameworkConvention) entered into force in 1974 but was of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Traderevised and updated in 1999. (SAFE). The SAFE framework is one of the most The revised Kyoto Convention is one of the major ambitious initiatives for security in the supply chaininternational instruments developed by the WCO. and it has a potential to affect almost all world tradeThe Convention is recognised as an international if all WCO members implement it. Moreover, thestandard, and is used as a benchmark for the global framework also applies to all modes of transport.customs community. The convention contains SAFE is a tool that aims to protect the internationalmodern and efficient customs formalities and supply chain from threats posed by internationalprocedures, harmonised customs documents for use terrorism, organised crime and other customsin international trade and transport and provides offences, while providing a platform to facilitate thefor the use of risk management techniques and the movement of legitimate goods traded internationally.optimal use of information technology by customs SAFE is based on four core elements that areadministrations. intended to permeate the work of improving security in the supply chain:WCO HS Convention – Advance electronic information: SAFE has beenThe harmonised system of HS is a nomenclature for formulated in such a way that it harmonises thethe classification of goods. It was developed by the elements of data required in electronic advanceWCO through the form of an international conven- information on imports, exports and transittion called the WCO’s International Convention on shipments.the Harmonized Commodity Description and – Risk management: each country participatingCoding System (HS Convention). There is a periodic in SAFE undertakes to introduce a consistentreview of the HS convention and the most recent risk management approach that addresses threatsversion was released in February 2007. to security. The HS Convention contributes to the facilitation – Outbound inspection: in line with the importingof international trade by providing a common basis country’s request and based on a comparable riskfor the classification of goods and the collection of targeting method, the exporting country shallcustoms duties. Over 190 countries use the HS perform an outbound inspection of high risksystem as a basis for their customs tariffs and for containers and cargo, preferably with equipmentstatistical purposes. Over 98% of world trade is that does not require the cargo to be physicallyclassified in terms of the HS. opened, for example large-scale X-ray machines The WCO has an HS Committee that meets and radiation detectors.regularly to discuss classification issues and the – Business partnership: SAFE defines benefits thatcommittee also administers a dispute settlement customs authorities shall offer businesses thatmechanism for issues related to HS classification. meet minimal supply chain security as well as standards and best practices.The Revised Arusha Declarationon Customs Integrity SAFE consists of 17 security standards broken downIn 1993 The WCO Council adopted the Arusha into two pillars: customs to customs network arrange-Declaration on Customs Integrity, which was ments and customs to business partnerships.revised in June 2003. It contains ten elementsthat provide a practical basis for the development WCO Columbus Capacity Building Programmeand implementation of a range of integrity or Since 2006, the WCO has initiated a number ofanti-corruption strategies that are relevant to the capacity building programmes and activities. Thecustoms operating environment. Elements included most significant is the WCO Columbus Programme.are for example: Leadership and Commitment, It is aimed at customs modernisation and imple-Regulatory Framework, Transparency and Relation- mentation of the SAFE and the Revised Kyotoship with the Private Sector. Convention as well as other trade facilitation standards and best practices. 15
  16. 16. When SAFE was adopted the question arose ASYCUDA – Automated System for Customs Datawhether all WCO member states would be able to ASYCUDA was developed by UNCTAD at theimplement the framework in its entirety. The WCO request of the Economic Community of Westernmembers recognised that there exist a clear risk that African States (ECOWAS) to assist in the compila-countries which lack capacity, in the form of both tion of foreign trade statistics in their memberinfrastructure and administrative capacity, would states. It has developed into a customs managementnot be able to fulfil SAFE’s requirements in respect system which covers most foreign trade procedures.to security measures. Consequently the participa- The system handles manifests and customs declara-tion of poor countries in international trade could tions, transit, suspense procedures and accountingbe made difficult. To help rectify this problem the procedures. It generates trade data that can be usedcustoms authorities in the USA, Canada, Australia, for statistical economic analysis.the EU and Japan offered to help developing Major revisions of the ASYCUDA softwarecountries that show the political will to implement have led to a very stable and highly reliable system.SAFE but lack the means to do so. Each country The system takes into account the internationalshall have an individual implementation plan. codes and standards developed by ISO 5, WCOThe WCO is also working with the regional and the United Nations.introduction of SAFE. For example, the East African To date over 80 countries have installed ASY-Community (EAC), the Southern Africa Customs CUDA, or are in process of doing so.Union (SACU), the Economic Community of WestAfrican States (ECOWAS) and the Association ofSoutheast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shall cooperateto harmonise the introduction of SAFE. 2.4 International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)2.3 United Nations Conference The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a business organisation with national committees inon Trade and Development a large number of countries and an International(UNCTAD) Secretariat in Paris. ICC elaborates voluntary rules and standards that contribute to facilitatingThe United Nations Conference on Trade and international trade such as:Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964. – ICC Incoterms which are standard internationalThe objective of UNCTAD´s work is to maximise the trade definitions.trade, investment and development opportunities of – ICC’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentarydeveloping countries and to assist developing coun- Credits (UCP 500), which are the rules that bankstries facing challenges arising from globalisation. use for documentary credits, collections, bank-to- The organisation has three key functions; firstly bank reimbursements and demand guarantees.to function as a forum for discussions between – ICC codes on advertising and marketing are frequentlyexperts, secondly to undertake research, policy reflected in national legislation and the codes ofanalysis and data collection on various subject professional associations.matters, and, finally, to provide technical assistanceto developing countries. UNCTAD is one of four – Rules for arbitration for international businessobserver organisations in the WTO trade facilitation disputes in the ICC International Court ofnegotiations and has conducted workshops and Arbitration.research aiming to improve developing countries’participation in the negotiations. ASYCUDA is a computerised customs manage- 2.5 International Maritimement system developed by UNCTAD which webelieve deserves special mention in this material Organization (IMO)on trade facilitation. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was established in 1948 in Geneva. It is an agency in the UN system. Its main mission is to develop and5 International Organisation for Standardisation.16
  17. 17. maintain international rules for shipping which IRU is relevant in its capacity as internationalinclude safety, environmental concerns, legal guarantor of the TIR carnet system.matters, technical cooperation and efficiency in The TIR convention was elaborated in the UNECEshipping. The IMO has 167 member states at the and the convention has 68 contracting parties. Thepresent time. The IMO’s Convention on Facilitation TIR system was devised to facilitate the interna-of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) was adopted tional movement of goods under customs seals. Thein 1965 to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime system provides transit countries with the requiredtraffic, to aid cooperation between governments, guarantees to cover the customs duties and taxes atand to secure the highest practicable degree of risk. Through its network of national memberuniformity in formalities and other procedures. associations the IRU administers an international The IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) guarantee chain throughout all countries withaddresses maritime safety and its most recent which a TIR transit operation can be established.update is from 1974. After the terrorist attacks on The national member associations of the IRU areSeptember 11, 2001, the members of the IMO agreed authorised by their national customs authoritiesto develop security measures for ships and ports. and by the IRU to act as issuing and guaranteeingThe result was the International Ship and Port Facility bodies for TIR carnets on the territory of theCode (ISPS Code), which is an amendment to SOLAS. country where they are domiciled.ISPS lays down requirements in respect of maritimesecurity and recommendations on ways in whichthese requirements shall be met. The ISPS code, was 2.7 World Tradeintroduced in July 2004 and in August of the sameyear 89.5 per cent of 9 000 ports and more than 90 Organization (WTO)per cent of all ships had been approved in accord- The World Trade Organization (WTO) was estab-ance with the Code. lished in 1995 and succeeded the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). The WTO is a forum for trade negotiations, rule setting and reso-2.6 International Transport lution of trade disputes with 153 member countries.Union (IRU) WTO core principles: – Most favoured nation principle. Countries can notThe International Road Transport Union (IRU) is normally discriminate between their tradinga network of national associations representing the partners. All WTO members should enjoy thetransport industry. In a trade facilitation context same trading conditions. 17
  18. 18. – National treatment: No member country may The negotiations shall also find provisions for discriminate between its own products and effective cooperation between customs or other imported products. appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and– Transparency: All rules affecting trade must be customs issues. transparent. Means to ensure this are through It is recognised that in order to fully reap the publication, notification, discussion and trade benefits from trade facilitation a basic infrastructure policy reviews of individual countries in the WTO. supporting trade such as road and rail infrastruc- ture, port facilities, telecommunications facilities, etc, have to be in place. However, these aspects areThe WTO negotiations on trade not covered by the negotiations.facilitation in the Doha Round The text in the mandate, called Annex D 6, onThe Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the 9th special and differential treatment for developinground of the WTO trade negotiation that seeks to countries and technical assistance for implementa-further liberalise trade and review trade rules. Issues tion is considered a novelty in the WTO 7. Theunder negotiation include, for example liberalisation mandate states that “the extent and the timingof trade in agricultural and industrial goods, liber- of entering into commitments shall be related toalisation of trade in services and trade facilitation. the implementation capacities of developing andThe WTO member countries have had difficulties least developed members”. Members, in particularagreeing in the negotiations, which has resulted developed countries, should commit to deliverin a dragged on process. support and assistance to allow implementation. The Doha Development Round was launched in It is stated that “in cases where required support2001 but trade facilitation became a part of the and assistance for such infrastructure is notnegotiation in 2004 after a decision by the WTO forthcoming, and where a developing or least-General Council. The scope of the trade facilitation developed Member continues to lack the necessarynegotiations concerns rules, formalities, procedures, capacity, implementation will not be required”.documents and fees needed for import, export and If the negotiations are terminated and thetransit. The objective is to achieve simple and member countries agree on trade facilitation, themodern trade rules that benefit both government next phase will take over: implementation of theand traders. agreement. From the mandate it is clear that Trade facilitation is not a new issue in the WTO countries shall not be forced to implement measuresand the negotiations aim at clarifying and improving if they lack the capacity to do so, and if no technicalthree existing GATT Articles on: assistance is forthcoming.• Freedom of Transit (GATT Articles V) See Annex 2 for a presentation of proposals• Fees and Formalities connected with Importation made in the negotiations. and Exportation (GATT Article VIII)• Publication and Administration of Trade Regulations (GATT Article X) Issues discussed in the WTO trade facilitation negotiations A. Publication and availability of information H. Formalities connected with importation and exportation B. Time periods between publication and implementation I. Consularisation C. Consultation and commenting on new and amended rules J. Border agency cooperation D. Advance rulings K. Release and clearance of goods E. Appeals procedures L. Tariff classification F. Other measures to enhance impartiality and M. Matters related to goods in transit non-discrimination Customs cooperation G. Fees and charges connected with importation and exportation (See Annex 2 for a more indepth presentation of the issues)6 Annex D Modalities for Negotiations on Trade Facilitation (annex to the WTO General Council’s decision on the Doha Agenda work program called “July package”, 2004).7 Kleen P (2008) “So alike and yet so different: A comparison of the Uruguay Round and the Doha Round”, ECIPE, Jan Tumlir Policy Essay No 02/2008 p 15.18
  19. 19. Existing WTO agreements that are relevant for trade facilitation In addition to the three existing GATT articles, there are several goods are shipped from the exporting country. The Agreement agreements in the WTO that are relevant in a trade facilitation on Preshipment Inspections prescribes how PSI shall be context, see below: performed by the user (importing) country. It is recognised that the trade facilitation negotiations are way to remedy the AGREEMENT ON CUSTOMS VALUATION (CVA) shortfalls in some customs administrations, thereby making the The purpose of the Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) is PSI unnecessary. In the negotiations a proposal has been that all WTO members should apply a fair, uniform and neutral made to phase out the use of PSI 8. system for the valuation of goods for customs purposes. AGREEMENT ON TECHNICAL AGREEMENT ON RULES OF ORIGIN BARRIERS TO TRADE (TBT) The objective of the Rules of Origin Agreement is to ensure The TBT Agreement contains provisions that must be that the rules of origin do not have restricting, distorting or observed when a member prepares, adopts and applies tech- disruptive effects on international trade. Countries shall also nical regulations and standards (including packaging marking administer their rules in a consistent, uniform, impartial and and labelling requirements) and the procedures for the assess- reasonable manner. The conclusion of the Rules of Origin ment of conformity with technical regulations and standards. Agreement also signalled is the start of negotiations that are The Agreement also includes rules on transparency. still ongoing to harmonise non-preferential rules of origin globally. AGREEMENT ON APPLICATION OF SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES (SPS) AGREEMENT ON IMPORT LICENSING The SPS Agreement sets out the basic rules on how a govern- PROCEDURES (ILP) ment can apply food safety and animal and plant measures The Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures (ILP) aims to (sanitary and phytosanitary measures). The agreement in- make the administration of import licenses as smooth and cludes provisions on control, inspection and approval proce- simple as possible so as to ensure that the licenses interrupt dures. Transparency and openness are central elements of trade as little as possible. the SPS Agreement. AGREEMENT ON PRESHIPMENT INSPECTION (PSI) Preshipment inspections (PSI) mean that an importing country contracts a private company to deal with certain customs work, such as checking price, quantity and quality, before the8 See: EC and Chinese Taipei “Preshipment Inspections” WTO reference: TN/TF/W/108. 19
  20. 20. Part 2 Sweden and trade facilitation20
  21. 21. Figure 3.1 Map of Sweden Facts about Sweden: Area: 450,000 km² (174,000 sq mi), third largest country in Western Europe Capital: Stockholm Population: 9,2 million inhabitants Languages: Swedish Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy Parliament: The Riksdag, with 349 members in one chamber Religion: 80% belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden Main trading partners: The European Union, Norway and the United States Main export goods: Electronic and telecom equipment, machinery, passenger cars, paper, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel Main imported goods: Electronic and telecom equipment, machinery, foodstuffs, crude oil, textile products, footwear and passenger cars GDP (US$ billions), 2007: 431.6 GDP (current prices, US$ billions) per capita, 2007: 47,068.7 Real GDP growth (percent) 2007: 3.6 Source: www.si.se3 The Swedish context for trade facilitationAs a small trade-dependant country, international trade is essential for Sweden’s welfare,and has been so for a long time. Sweden’s business sector is among the most interna-tionalised in the world. Simple and predictable trade procedures, including customsprocedures, are therefore of priority for Sweden. Today, international trade, includingSweden’s trade, has become more complex and specialised, and trade facilitation is thusa very important tool to make export and import procedures as efficient as possible. However, there is no “one-size fits all” when it comes to implementing trade facilitation.Each country must follow its own strategy adopted by that country’s specific circum-stances and institutional system. In the following, we will present some characteristics of the Swedish economic andinstitutional systems, for the purpose of explaining the prerequisites Sweden has had inits work with trade facilitation. Furthermore, we will give a historical overview of Swedishtrade facilitation reforms.3.1 The Swedish economy well integrated in the global economy, with a large public sector.– from an industrial country to In the mid-1850s, Sweden was still a poora knowledge-based economy agrarian country on the periphery of Europe. However, various reforms – notably compulsorySweden is today one of the worlds most economi- primary schooling, gradual democratisation and acally advanced societies and the standard of living range of economic liberalisation measures – ignitedis one of the highest in the world. The diversified the economy. Restrictions, deliberately designed toeconomy combines a deregulated market economy, hamper both domestic commerce and free trade 21
  22. 22. with other countries, were abolished. As the exports A number of annually published internationalof iron, ore and timber became a profitable busi- comparative reports put Sweden very close to theness, foreign investments poured into the country to top regarding competitiveness. High spending onbuild modern infrastructure. The process was much R&D, widespread use of information technology,helped by a peaceful and incorrupt political climate. a well educated workforce, excellent infrastructure, By the late 19th century, the economy gradually low corruption and efficient government institutionswas transformed from one based on agriculture and makes Sweden one of the leading economies in theraw materials to an industrial economy. For European Union (EU). These are also favourableexample, exports of timber became exports of pulp factors for implementing trade facilitation reforms.and paper. A diverse manufacturing sector arose, Since the beginning of the 70’s the servicewith many firms based on new innovations. sector has dominated the economy. Sweden is thusGradually, many companies became giants and today a post industrial society and innovationtoday Sweden has a large number of multinational driven knowledge economy, not least in areascorporations, like Volvo (automobiles), Ericsson such as ICT and pharmaceuticals. The activities in(telecommunications) and H&M (retail clothing). In Swedish firms are more and more geared towardsorder for Sweden’s business to develop, access to the intellectual phase of the production process, i.e.,foreign markets was imperative and Sweden realised R&D, marketing and logistics solutions. Not onlyearly on the necessity of simplifying burdensome knowledge intensive services are increasing but alsotrade procedures. Without an outlet for their other more menial types of services. However,products the firms could never have achieved the many services are not easily tradable and the mainscale of economies needed to develop, produce and venue for reaching foreign service consumers is tosell their products at reasonable prices. The Swedish invest abroad.market was, and is, simply too small. The Swedish Consequently, manufacturing still dominates theeconomy became specialised in the areas where it trade flows, with 75 – 80 % of all exports andhad competitive advantages, and the profits from imports. Even if Sweden mostly trade with other EUexports have been used to finance imports. Sweden members (approximately 2/3), the country alsohas never resorted to the idea of import substitu- develops closer commercial ties with the rest of thetion, but always imported goods which could not be world, not least the emerging markets. With theproduced competitively at home. Open borders in fragmentation of world production – where goodsboth directions, for exports and imports, is a are assembled using sub parts produced in manyhallmark of the Swedish economy and has contrib- places – the flow of intermediate goods into and oututed much to Swedish economic growth. of the country from all over the world constitutes an increasing part of Swedish trade, which again makes trade facilitation important.Figure 3.2 Swedish Exports and Importsof goods and services 1950 – 2007The graph below shows Swedish exports and imports of goods andservices in relation to GDP, expressed in percentage points. 3.2 The Swedish55 Exports of goods and services institutional system Imports of goods and services50 Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and a parlia-45 mentary democracy. All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people represented by the40 Swedish Parliament – the “Riksdag” – represents the people. The Riksdag appoints the Prime Minister35 who chooses the members of government – the30 ministers. The Riksdag also makes law, decides on the budget and monitors the government. The25 government, as a collective, rules Sweden and is20 accountable to the Riksdag. The Government 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Offices form a single, integrated public agency Data up to and including 2007 comprising the Prime Ministers Office, the twelveSource: www.scb.se ministries and the Office for Administrative Affairs.22
  23. 23. Government itself decides how its work is to be have a number of instruments at their disposalorganised. The formal rules of administrative when steering these agencies.procedure merely lay down general guidelines and The government issues an instruction for eachestablish a number of basic principles for dealing agency. In this instruction the main working areas ofwith government matters. The work methods and the agency are stated as well as the main objectives.organisation of the Government Offices are in This instruction is an ordinance and is changed onlyconstant development in cooperation with the when there is call for revision. The budget and thepolitical leadership, the Directors-General for Legal accompanying appropriation directions is decidedAffairs and the Office for Administrative Affairs, by parliament but prepared by the Governmentwhich is led by the Permanent Secretary, the Offices on an annual basis. The appropriationagency’s most senior official. directions contain the instructions and special tasks Sweden has a long history of decentralisation and that the government wants the agencies to carry out,delegation. One example of this is that almost all as well as the details of their yearly budget.decision-making related to individuals and enter- To this formal steering comes an informal steeringprise is delegated to government agencies. There are in the daily contacts, which is the effect of theabout 230 government agencies that have employ- organisation with government business carried outees. They carry out the political decisions of the by agencies. The agencies are generally directlygovernment and make decisions applying law. This linked to a specific ministry where a senior adminis-makes the government’s agenda less charged; and trative officer is responsible for daily contacts. Inhas the advantage of allowing the government to the contact with officials in the Government Offices,concentrate on policy making. These agencies are tasks and assignments are decided and inquiries intooften referred to as independent since the govern- areas of special interest for the government ordered.ment cannot interfere into the decision-making One part of the informal steering is the dialogueprocess related to an individual administrative item between agencies and government. An essential partof business. However, government and parliament of this dialogue is often the yearly meeting between 23
  24. 24. the Director General of an agency and the Minister beyond that limit if the aim is to expose far reachingresponsible and also in some cases with the State corruption or other criminal activities. The officialsSecretary, the minister’s closest collaborator. are protected by the fact that media is not allowed There has been an extensive debate in Sweden in to disclose their sources and agencies are notthe last decade on the issue of how more complex allowed to enquire into “leaks”. This is an efficientproblems extending to various fields of society “whistle blower protection”. The public and massshould be tackled in the best way. There is a media are entitled to attend trials and meetings ofstanding instruction to the government agencies to the chamber of the Swedish Parliament, theco-operate in relevant areas. However cooperation municipality assembly, county council and otherbetween agencies can sometimes be hard to carry such entities.out in practise, despite political pressure and The free access to documents is an effectiveambitious plans. In the trade and customs area this barrier to corruption and a way to assure that thecooperation has a long tradition and has been democracy can function effectively thanks to wellrunning relatively smoothly, as described in the informed citizens. These fundamental rights andchapter about the Swedish Single window and other freedoms are a basis for achieving long standingareas of cooperation 9. trade facilitation reforms.Fundamental rights and freedomsAll Swedish citizens are guaranteed a number of 3.3 Sweden’s trade policyfreedoms and rights. The most important of theserights, from a trade facilitation perspective, are Free trade is since a long time the basic principle forfreedom of expression and of information, as stated the Swedish trade policy. Open, simple and fairin the Fundamental law on Freedom of Expression conditions for international trade and investmentand the Freedom of the Press Act. This encompasses contribute to growth, employment and sustainablea freedom to communicate information and express development.thoughts, opinions and sentiments. Openness, In connection with Sweden’s membership in thetransparency and access to information are very European Union (EU) in 1995, Sweden became fullyimportant aspects for all public services in Sweden. integrated into the EU internal market and part ofThis is specified in the constitutionally protected its common external trade policy towards non-principle of the public access to official documents, member countries. EU Membership also means thatdating from as far back as 1766. According to this Sweden’s frontiers, from a trading perspective, nowprinciple all individuals, independent of nationality are Norway in the west, Russia in the east and Africaand media have access to information about state in the south. The European Commission is respon-and municipal activities. Any individual may read sible for conducting trade negotiations withofficial documents of public authorities. A docu- countries outside the EU. For the trade in goods,ment can be any sort of information, text or image, and to a certain extent services as well, membershipindependent of media. A condition for a document of the EU means that the right to legislate and enterbeing public is that it is in the keeping of an agency into agreements with countries outside the EU, hasor that it has been drawn up there. Officials are not been transferred to the Union. The Europeanentitled to ask who is asking for a document or for Commission represents EU member countries inwhat purpose. forums such as the World Trade Organization. The Official documents can be kept secret if, for European Council, where each of the 27 Memberexample, they concern national security, the states is represented at the ministerial level, is thepersonal or financial circumstances of private decision-maker. The Council issues directives toindividuals or crime prevention activities by public guide the Commission in its work and decidesagencies. ultimately, whether to adopt an accord. Sweden Furthermore, civil servants and others who work follows the Common Commercial Policy and isfor the state or municipalities are entitled to disclose required to incorporate these rules and regulationsinformation to newspapers, radio and television, if into its existing regulatory framework.the aim is publication. This right is limited by the It is the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairsabove secrecy principles, but can sometimes extend that is responsible for Sweden’s trade policy.9 Government Offices of Sweden, Art Nr IR 2008:001 “The Swedish Government at work”, 2008.24
  25. 25. The National Board of Trade is the governmental Figure 3.3 Example of Swedish ministries and governmental agencies active in the area of tradeagency and the central administrative body inSweden dealing with foreign trade and trade policy.The Board provides the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Governmentwith analysis and recommendations on any tradepolicy matter, including issues related to tradefacilitation. Within the framework of the EU, the Ministry for Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture,Board works for an effective Internal Market, an Foreign Finance Food and Affairsopen trade policy and a strengthened, multilateral Fisheriestrading system within the WTO. National National Customs Board of Board Tax Board Agriculture of Trade E-government The Swedish central E-government is a concept which refers electronic information between the agencies. Information to government’s use of information and communication exchange between the agencies is crucial and a prerequisite technology (ICT) to exchange information and services with to facilitate the service to the individuals and the business citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. According community. to several international comparison studies, the central government administrations’ use of ICT is among the most TULLVERKET.SE developed in the world and Sweden is one of the world Tullverket.se (formerly “The Virtual Custom Office”), launched leading countries when it comes to the range of advanced in 2002, is a good example of how an e-government solution public services through the internet 10. The most important may be developed and implemented. Countries like Sweden anticipated benefits of e-government include improved that are dependent on foreign trade and where Customs efficiency, convenience and better accessibility of public play an important role, needed to increase the service levels services. This is also significant in a trade facilitation and facilitate trade by introducing eServices and thereby perspective. adding value to the overall foreign trade process for the Swedish business community. Tullverket.se is a Swedish THE 24/7 AGENCY single window and it is a web-service that enables companies In year 2000 the Swedish government launched an initiative to perform their day to day customs business in a flexible way. called the 24/7 Agency (a government agency that is open 24 The overall objective is availability 24/7 throughout the year for hours, seven days a week). The objective of the initiative was all customers regardless of their level of competence and to provide citizens, on a continuous basis, with electronic prerequisites, offering the same level of service at all times. access to governmental services all hours of the day, The website supports all of the business community with differ- regardless of working hours. Individuals and businesses ent eServices, for instance the ability to submit customs should find it easier to retrieve and submit the information that declarations over the internet, mostly used by small and is relevant in each individual situation, regardless of how the medium sized companies that use this service for electronic responsibility for the information is divided between agencies import and export declarations. Today approximately 98% of all or between the state, municipalities or county councils. documentation to Customs is by electronic means (web/EDI). Another important objective of the 24/7 Agency was to get citizens and companies to play a part in the work on public Tullverket.se contains a number of services linked to other administration to shape and offer its services. Services and agencies involved in the trade. Value added taxes are collected range activities offered by the public administration should on imports on behalf of the Taxation authorities and trade therefore be clearly and comprehensibly stated to the citizens. statistics on behalf of Statistics Sweden. Swedish Customs At the same time the public administration should continuously has in partnership with the National Board of Trade and the inform itself regarding citizens’ opinions and demands and Swedish Board of Agriculture developed innovative eServices take these issues into consideration in their efforts to develop facilitating foreign trade regarding licenses. activities further. Each government agency should have an independent responsibility for its own technical system and Tullverket.se has been both a national and internationally services. It is also important that the forms for cooperation and recognised initiative, showing how Customs business may be coordination between the different government agencies are conducted in the 21st century with the use of modern achieved by setting up common standards for exchange of technology.10 www.regeringen.se/finans, Skr. 2004/05:48. 25

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