Development of the Trade Facilitation Index (TFI)

Development of the Trade Facilitation Index (TFI)

Indicators for trade facilitation should be established in the country to evaluate aspects such as port efficiency, customs and regulatory environments, and the infrastructure of the service sector. A study has been carried out by SARS to devise a method for tracking the performance of its Trade Facilitation Index, establish a foundational index, and use the study’s findings to formulate a SARS enhancement plan based on the 10 evaluated trade facilitation indicators, for which SARS has control over. International multilateral organizations like the OECD, IMF, World Bank, and WCO have embraced the TFIs formulated by the WTO and have conducted surveys among their members to gauge the performance of different countries. This is why SARS has chosen to adopt the TFIs developed by global entities like the WTO and endorsed by the OECD, IMF, and WCO. The trade facilitation index for South Africa was created to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of SARS, Customs and Excise in fulfilling its mandate.

The following ten TFIs were adopted by SARS, namely:


The ‘Freedom of transit Indicator’ was not included as an indicator for this study consistent with international multilateral practice. Freedom of transit measures are already covered under Information Availability, Involvement of the trade Community, Fees and Charges, Formalities – Automation, Internal & External Cooperation, and Formalities – Procedures Indicators, listed above.

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