Preferential Trade Agreements are designed to facilitate trade between the Parties and also with third parties by reducing red tape and simplifying trade rules and regulations so as to improve efficiency and reduce transaction costs. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation could potentially add up to US$1 trillion to the global economy.
The PACER Plus Parties are determined to simplify trade rules and regulations and modernize customs operations in order to maximize the benefits from the Agreement. In that regard, they have agreed to enhance transparency of trade rules and regulations by making them widely available, including through electronic means such as the internet. They have agreed to allow each other to comment on relevant draft trade laws and regulations before they enter into force. They have also agreed to adopt procedures which would expedite the free flow of goods between the parties, including pre-clearance procedures such as advance rulings and also strengthen post- clearance audits to combat customs fraud. The Parties have also agreed to enhance cooperation between their customs and border agencies to promote the implementation of the Agreement.
To avoid arbitrary decisions being made by customs authorities which may undermine tariff commitments, the Parties have agreed to be guided in their valuation determinations by the WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation, which mandates the use of the transaction value of the goods as the basis for valuation. To that end, assistance will be provided to the Parties that are not WTO Members so that they can observe the disciplines in that Agreement.