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Trade Facilitation - WTO law and its reform to facilitate international trade in goods

by Dr. Carolin Eve Bolhöfer

The globalisation of value chains in recent decades has made the effectiveness of border procedures an essential competitive factor in world trade. While trade requires customs clearance to be as fast, uncomplicated and inexpensive as possible, the state must fulfil its control function, levying customs duties and enforcing import and export restrictions. The aim of trade facilitation policy is to reconcile these interests, which at first glance appear to be contradictory. This goal is pursued at national, regional and international level, for example by automating and standardizing procedures. Legal limits are placed on the state's regulatory autonomy in this area by world trade law. Since the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 and the associated expansion of multilateral world trade agreements, it has gained considerable legal and political importance. In her work, the author examines existing international law in the field of border procedures with special regard to world trade law and, against the background of the increasing globalization of value chains, its need for reform. In addition to codified law, the case law of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in this context is also taken into account.

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