On behalf of its members, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has welcomed the entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies notes that the ratifications by Chad, Jordan, Oman and Rwanda today means the deal has reached the pre-determined threshold of 110 WTO members required for its immediate entry into force. Robert Keen, Director General of BIFA says: ‘This agreement aims to simplify and clarify international import and export procedures, customs formalities and transit requirements. It should make trade-related administration easier and less costly, thus helping to provide an important and much-needed boost to global economic growth. ‘If better border procedures and faster, smoother trade flows result from the agreement and help to revitalise global trade, BIFA members, which facilitate much of the UK’s visible trade, will benefit.’ ‘We shouldn’t forget that it has taken 16 years to get to this point and are left wondering how the world’s trading activity, in which BIFA members have a vested interest, would have developed had it not taken quite so long to get where we are today. ‘Of course, of late, some nations have made it clear that they intend to scale down multi-country free trade deals and switch to bilateral relationships, marking a return to the bad old days of protectionism. ‘BIFA believes that the world has benefited immeasurably from liberalised trade. Not only has consumer choice been enriched in many countries, but also outsourcing of production has brought valuable employment to developing economies throughout the world. BIFA members have worked to bring these products to the UK and taken UK production to customers abroad.