India improves its Ranking in the UN’s Trade Facilitation Survey

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has completed a trade facilitation survey for a total of 143 nations, with India scoring 90.32 percent, up from 78.49 percent in 2019.

The Survey for 2021 noted India’s improvement in all five major categories — transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and collaboration, paperless commerce, and cross-border paperless trade — in its examination of 143 economies.

In 2021, India received a perfect score on the transparency indicator, up from 93.33 percent in 2019. The score for ‘paperless trade’ increased from 81.48 percent to 96.3 percent, while the score for institutional arrangement and cooperation increased from 66.67 percent to 88.89 percent.

UNESCAP conducts the survey every two years and evaluates 58 trade facilitation measures that are covered under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. A country’s higher ranking aids corporations in their investment decisions.

These 58 initiatives include, among other things, internet posting of existing import-export laws, risk management, advance tariff classification rulings, pre-arrival processing, independent appeal mechanism accelerated shipping, and an automated customs system.

Through a series of changes, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs(CBIC) has been at the forefront of ground-breaking reforms under the banner of ‘Turant’ Customs to usher in a Faceless, Paperless, and Contactless Customs. This has had a direct impact on the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (UNESCAP) rankings for digital and sustainable trade facilitation. Customs units helped to speed imports of oxygen-related equipment, life-saving drugs, vaccines, and other items during the Covid-19 pandemic. The CBIC also established a designated single point of contact for importers to resolve difficulties quickly.

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