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The Role of Automation in Trade Facilitation

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Abstract

This paper analyses customs automation which is one of the most powerful tools to increase customs efficiency. It focuses in particular on the benefits and implementation costs of automation. It is part of a series of studies that analyse various aspects of trade facilitation and the objective is to contribute to discussions in the WTO Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation. Based on cost estimations in customsrelated lending projects, the paper finds that the costs for implementing, maintaining and operating automated customs systems are substantial. However, the very great majority of WTO members have already implemented such systems and past experiences show that the financial benefits in many cases have exceeded the costs over time. Among the various lessons learned from successful implementation of automated customs systems, two are particularly worth highlighting. First, automation should not be considered a panacea for trade facilitation; and second, commitment and financial sustainability are prerequisites for successful customs modernisation involving automation.

Suggested Citation

  • Oecd, 2005. "The Role of Automation in Trade Facilitation," OECD Trade Policy Papers 22, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:22-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/841420380004
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferrantino, Michael J., 2012. "Using supply chain analysis to examine the costs of non-tariff measures (NTMs) and the benefits of trade facilitation," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    2. Addo, Atta A., 2016. "Explaining 'irrationalities' of IT-enabled change in a developing country bureaucracy: the case of Ghana's Tradenet," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69471, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    Keywords

    customs; customs automation; customs modernisation; trade facilitation;

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