Article 7.6: Establishment and Publication of Average Release Times
What is covered?
WTO Members are encouraged to set up a system to measure and publish their average release time of goods. The Measure encourages WTO Members to do so periodically and consistently, so that these average times remain current and valid for the trade transactions at all times.
As suggested in the Measure, the Time Release Study of the WCO is the recommended tool to measure the average release time. According to this tool, the average release time of goods could cover the entire period between the arrival of the goods and their departure from the border crossing point, whereby the scope and methodology of the average release measurement is upon the discretion of the country.
In addition, Members are also encouraged to share with the WTO Committee on Trade Facilitation their national experiences and best practices on measuring average release times, including methodologies used, bottlenecks identified and any outcomes which have positively affected the efficiency of customs procedures.
The whole structure of Article 7.6 lies on a best-endeavor effort of Members.
What is not covered?
The Measure does not mention how to publish this information and leaves it to the discretion of the Members to use the most effective means of publication on a case-by-case basis. In the absence of this detail, it is implied that the principles of transparency and efficiency lie beneath the provisions of this Measure.
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