Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Quantitative Assessment of the Benefits of Trade Facilitation


Author Info

  • Peter Walkenhorst


  • Tadashi Yasui



Trade transaction costs (TTCs) related to border procedures vary depending on the efficiency and integrity of interacting businesses and administrations, the characteristics or kind of goods, and the size and type of businesses. Total costs may be seen as being composed of directly incurred costs, such as expenses relating to supplying information and documents to the related authority, and indirectly incurred costs, such as those arising from procedural delays. Empirical studies suggest that directly and indirectly incurred TTCs each amount to 1-15 per cent of traded goods’ value. Moreover, empirical evidence suggests that TTCs for agro-food products are higher than those for manufactured goods, as agro-food shipments are subject to special border procedures, such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary controls. Also, small and medium-sized enterprises face cost-disadvantages. In light of this diversity in TTCs, the potential for the realisation of benefits from trade facilitation varies across countries, sectors, and types of traders. In cases where best practices are already applied, further efficiency gains will be difficult to achieve. But if border clearance costs are substantially above those encountered under best practices, room for improvement through suitable measures of trade facilitation will tend to exist. The model-based analysis of the economic impacts of trade facilitation carried out in this study differs from earlier research by taking several salient features of import and export procedures into account. In particular, the differing characteristics of direct and indirect TTCs are represented, and country-specific differences in trade facilitation potential are reflected according to empirical information on border waiting times and survey-based evidence on the quality of border processes. In addition, the higher TTCs for agro-food products and small and medium-sized enterprises are incorporated into the analysis. The analysis does not evaluate the economic and trade impact of specific trade facilitation measures or instruments, such as those that might result from a possible future WTO agreement on trade facilitation. Instead, the aim of the assessment is to better represent empirical characteristics of the border process in model-based analysis and to identify those features that crucially affect the results and that, therefore, deserve to be further explored in future analysis. Several scenarios of hypothetical, multilateral trade facilitation efforts are evaluated, focusing on the comparison of scenarios rather than the overall welfare gains that might result from trade facilitation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0401008.

as in new window
Date of creation: 29 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0401008

Note: Type of Document - pdf
Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Related research

Keywords: Trade facilitation; customs procedures; documentary requirements; waiting times; CGE modelling;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. David Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2012. "Time as a Trade Barrier," NBER Working Papers 17758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. W. Hertel, Thomas, 2001. "Dynamic Effects of the “New Age” Free Trade Agreement between Japan and Singapore," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 446-484.
  3. Wilson,John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2003. "Trade facilitation and economic development : measuring the impact," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2988, The World Bank.
  4. David Dollar & Aart Kraay, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F22-F49, 02.
  5. Verwaal, Ernst & Donkers, Bas, 2003. " Customs-Related Transaction Costs, Firm Size and International Trade Intensity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 257-71, November.
  6. Malcolm, Gerard, 1998. "Adjusting Tax Rates in the GTAP Data Base," GTAP Technical Papers 315, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Prabir De, 2009. "Enhancing Asia's Trade: Transport Costs Matter," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: Impact of Trade Facilitation on Export Competitiveness: a Regional Perspective, volume 66, chapter 2, pages 19-70 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  2. Yue Li & John S. Wilson, 2009. "Trade Facilitation and Expanding the Benefits of Trade: Evidence from Firm Leval Data," Working Papers 7109, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
  3. Matthias Helble & Catherine Mann & John Wilson, 2012. "Aid-for-trade facilitation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(2), pages 357-376, June.
  4. Wilson, John S. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2007. "Regional integration in South Asia : what role for trade facilitation ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4423, The World Bank.
  5. Peng Bin, 2009. "Enhancing Export Competitiveness through Trade Facilitation in Asia," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: Impact of Trade Facilitation on Export Competitiveness: a Regional Perspective, volume 66, chapter 1, pages 1-17 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  6. Roberto Miranda, 2012. "Central American Economic Integration - The Impact of a Customs Union with Guatemala on El Salvador’s Economy," Competence Centre on Money, Trade, Finance and Development 1208, Hochschule fuer Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin.
  7. Alan Matthews & Keith Walsh, 2005. "The Economic Consequences of the Doha Round for Ireland," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp107, IIIS.
  8. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Trade facilitation in ASEAN member countries: Measuring progress and assessing priorities," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 367-383, September.
  9. Roumeen Islam & Gianni Zanini, 2008. "World Trade Indicators 2008 : Benchmarking Policy and Performance," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6334, July.
  10. Bagai, Shweta & Wilson, John S., 2006. "The data chase : what's out there on trade costs and nontariff barriers ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3899, The World Bank.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0401008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.