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The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, a UN treaty deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, aims at accelerating the implementation of digital trade facilitation measures for trade and development. Designed as an inclusive instrument accessible to countries at all levels of development to develop their capacity to engage in cross-border paperless trade, the final treaty text was adopted by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in May 2016.* Trade cost reductions expected from full implementation of cross-border paperless trade are estimated at 10-30% of existing transactions costs, depending on the current state of paperless trade development in the participating countries. Significant benefits in terms of trade compliance are also expected. *E/ESCAP/RES/72/4; [中文][English][Français][русский]
Text and Status of the Framework Agreement
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The Agreement entered into force on 20 February 2021 – as stated in Article 19 of the Agreement, it entered into force 90 days after the date on which the Governments of at least 5 ESCAP member States have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession. Azerbaijan acceded in March 2018 and the Philippines acceded in December 2019. Islamic Republic of Iran ratified in May 2020, Bangladesh ratified in October 2020 and China, as the 5th country, ratified in November 2020. Timor-Leste acceded in April 2022 and Turkmenistan acceded in May 2022. In addition, Armenia and Cambodia signed it in 2017. Furthermore, several other ESCAP member States are in the process of completing their domestic processes for accession. The Agreement in Chinese, English and Russian languages is available on the website of the Treaty Section of the UN Office of Legal Affairs, along with an up-to-date list of countries who signed, ratified or acceded to the Agreement (here). Countries requiring technical assistance and advisory services could apply for Accession/Ratification Accelerator Programme.
More Information on the Framework Agreement
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- Introduction to the Framework Agreement
- Explanatory Note to the Framework Agreement
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Framework Agreement
- Draft road map for the implementation of the Framework Agreement
- Interim Intergovernmental Steering Group on Cross-border Paperless Trade Facilitation
- Readiness Assessment Guide for Cross-border Paperless Trade
- Latest News
For details on the procedure to becoming a party, please contact the Secretariat and/or refer to the UN Treaty Handbook, in particular pages 5 – 10. Model Instruments of full powers, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, and reservation and declaration can be found in the annexes of the UN Treaty Handbook.
For questions regarding this agreement, please contact: Tengfei Wang (Mr.) Trade Policy and Facilitation Section Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, United Nations ESCAP Email: [email protected], copied to [email protected]