Trade Facilitation

Modern customs techniques, an electronic single window, an efficient transport and logistics system, and a supportive legal framework.

Together, these four building blocks promote transparency, streamline cargo clearance, simplify regulatory requirements, and smooth the exchange of information between parties involved in a trade transaction. Together, they facilitate trade by reducing time in trade. Nathan Associates Inc. estimates that the average benefit of reducing time in trade is equivalent to a 14 percent reduction in tariffs. Others estimate that a one-day delay in exporting a product reduces exports by at least one percent.

Nathan Associates provides services in all four building blocks: 

Customs Modernization

Customs modernization involves complying with the Revised Kyoto Convention, WCO SAFE Framework, and WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement; establishing risk management, postclearance audit, advance ruling, authorized economic operator, and prearrival processing systems; automating customs procedures; connecting with other border agencies through a single window mechanism; adjustingto the WCO’s Harmonized System Nomenclature 2012—and more. Nathan Associates develops customs assessment tools, helps customs administrations modernize approaches and operations, and advises on specific aspects of customs programs:

  • Authorized economic operator programs
  • Advance rulings
  • Risk management
  • Postclearance audit
  • Prearrival processing
  • E-customs procurement
  • Tariff classification
  • Customs legislation
  • Cross-border customs connectivity

Trade Portals and Single Windows

 Nathan Associates knows that single windows are the end result of high-level government commitment and sustained cooperation among many public and private sector parties—and that hardware and software are the last, not the first, pieces of a single window system. Working with our clients, we

  • Draft single window roadmaps and action plans and raise public awareness
  • Develop single window financial feasibility and sustainability studies
  • Analyze and develop single window legal frameworks
  • Conduct business process analysis and data harmonization
  • Establish trade portals
  • Plan, design, and establish regional single window connectivity

Transport and Logistics Support

Delays caused by poor logistics in transport corridors drive up the cost of shipping and make trade flows unreliable and unpredictable. Nathan Associates evaluates transport corridor performance and quantifies the impact of bottlenecks on logistics performance and trade. We help clients

  • Pinpoint and measure the impact of logistics bottlenecks (FastPath®)
  • Conduct time release studies and assess the impact of logistics policies
  • Conduct corridor diagnostic studies and performance monitoring
  • Provide corridor management and institution building support.

Legal Framework Modernization

 To comply with the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention, WCO SAFE Framework, or WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and to fully benefit from single windows and modern customs techniques, many countries are developing or updating laws and regulations. Nathan Associates works with governments to understand their trade facilitation and compliance objectives and to then draft laws and decrees that modernize legislation and make for a more predictable and transparent trading environment. We

  • Draft and review customs law and regulations to ensure alignment with the Revised Kyoto Convention and WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
  • Conduct legal gap analysis for single window and e-commerce
  • Draft legislation for single window and e-commerce
  • Draft legislation for regional single window frameworks. 

 
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