The Committee on International Affairs at a meeting on June 21 recommended the adoption of a draft on the accession of the Russian Federation to the Framework Agreement on the Simplification of Transboundary paperless trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The Framework Agreement aims to develop cross-border paperless trade by creating conditions for the mutual recognition of trade documents and data in electronic form and their exchange across borders, as well as increasing the interoperability of national and sub-regional single window systems to increase the efficiency and transparency of foreign trade transactions”, – stated in the explanatory note.
The framework agreement is based on the following principles: functional equivalence, non-discrimination in the use of electronic communications, technology neutrality, promotion of interoperability, improved trade facilitation and greater regulatory compliance, public-private cooperation, improved cross-border environment of trust. The key provision is the mutual recognition of trade documents and data in electronic form in the process of trade in goods, including their export, import, transit and related services.
The framework agreement entered into force on February 20, 2021. The current Parties are Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Tajikistan, East Timor, Turkmenistan and Tuvalu. The agreement is open for accession by other ESCAP member states. According to the ESCAP Secretariat, about 15 countries, including 4 out of 5 member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), are in the process of joining the framework agreement or are considering such a possibility.
The ESCAP Secretariat estimates that Russia’s implementation of cross-border paperless trade facilitation measures could help reduce costs by 24%, compared with a 7% reduction from implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement alone. In absolute terms, this difference is more than 2.5 billion US dollars, according to accompanying documents.
The Committee suggested that the State Duma consider the draft law at its plenary session on June 22.