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Trade facilitation

Trade facilitation - the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes - has emerged as an important issue for the world trading system.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the global international organization responsible for the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, which have been signed by most of the world’s trading nations and, which include the following:

  1. Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
  2. Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement)

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

The WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) explicitly recognizes the right of governments to take measures to protect human, animal and plant health, as long as these measures are based on science, are necessary for the protection of health, and do not unjustifiably discriminate among foreign sources of supply. The standards within the framework of the IPPC, under the auspices of the IPPC Secretariat, are the only international standards for phytosanitary measures recognized by the SPS Agreement.

This web page was last updated on 2023-04-12. For further information please contact [email protected].


The IPPC's mandate is to enable contracting parties (CP) to the IPPC to protect terrestrial and aquatic plant resources by preventing the introduction and spread of pests. This is done through the application of phytosanitary measures that are technically justified and transparent and which do not result in arbitrary or unjustified discrimination or a disguised restriction of international trade. We facilitate safe trade by:

The importance of the trade facilitation is also highlighted in the IPPC Strategic Framework (2020 -2030) that aims, among other goals, to Facilitate safe trade, development and economic growth.


In recent years, the IPPC has delved into "cutting-edge" trade facilitation topics, such as:

Working in partnership

The IPPC Secretariat and the IPPC community work with a wide range of partners to facilitate safe trade, including the following:

IPPC task forces and working groups related to trade facilitation