OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators for Brazil
Evdokia Moïsé and Silvia Sorescu, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD developed in 2012 a set of Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs) that identify areas for action and enable the potential impact of reforms to be assessed, as a way to help governments improve their border procedures, reduce trade costs, and reap greater benefits from international trade.1 The TFIs cover the full spectrum of border procedures and allow for deep analysis of specific measures. They have proven to be an important tool in supporting countries as they seek to identify their strengths and weaknesses and track their progress in implementing trade facilitation measures.
Currently covering more than 160 economies at all levels of development, the 11 TFIs track the policy areas of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA): information availability; involvement of trade community; advance rulings; appeal procedures; fees and charges; formalities (documents, automation, procedures); border agency cooperation (internal and external); governance; and impartiality.
The TFIs reflect not only the regulatory framework in each country, but also, to the extent possible, implementation of trade facilitation measures. The OECD has been further developing the indicators so as to reflect specific implementation challenges in more detail.
The OECD is testing the relevance and validity of such extensions to the indicators through a first case study on Brazil.2 The project thus aims to construct such an implementation-oriented set of TFIs and adapt them to Brazil’s current economic conditions, which will provide a more targeted and practical diagnostic tool at an individual country level.
Information is currently being collected from all government agencies involved in the border process,3 from different parts of the country,4 as well as from selected private sector associations that can provide a user’s view of those agencies’ trade facilitation performance.5 The data collection process seeks objective replies from each of the concerned authorities to the questions included in the OECD TFIs questionnaire. Where questions refer to border-post specific practices rather than nationwide policy, the objective is to obtain an array of replies for representative border posts for each agency. Interviews with representative private sector entities also seek factual replies—not perceptions—to selected questions included in the TFIs questionnaire.
Initial interviews are already reflecting the challenges relating to the diversity and bureaucratic complexity of Brazil. Processing the information from the data collection stage will allow the OECD to:
- Assess the various agencies’ strengths and weaknesses in absolute terms and in comparison to each other
- Put into perspective differences between government agencies’ replies and views of the private sector, as well as the impact that the identified strengths and weaknesses have on the facilitation of cross-border trade and involvement in global and regional supply chains
- Highlight specific implementation challenges across different Brazilian ports, land border posts and international airports
The refined and implementation-oriented TFIs would be used jointly with country officials and capacity-building operatives as a basis to discuss and identify remaining reform bottlenecks and specific trade facilitation domains of action over the short-, medium- and long-term. The project should also provide a transparent basis for effective cooperation between border agencies and relevant supply-chain stakeholders.