International Expert to Support Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

USAID Vietnam Trade Facilitation Program


Support implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

Proposed Personnel:        Name TBD, International WTO TFA Expert

Period of Performance:       o/a September 25 – December 15, 2022

Level of Effort:                      

Origin/Destination:             Hanoi, Vietnam

Travel Dates:                       Field trips (3-5 days)

Activity No.:                      FY2021 Activity 1.4 – Administration of WTO TFA implementation. Detailed assessment of the implementation level of Article 8.1– National Border Agency Cooperation. (Sub- activities 1.4.2)

MEL indicator(s):                 EG 2_1-1 and CLBD 9

Project Background:

The USAID Vietnam Trade Facilitation Program is a five-year project that aims to support the adoption and implementation of a more risk-based approach to customs and specialized inspection institutions in Vietnam. The program will work with the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) to strengthen the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) of Vietnam and its Working Groups; streamline border clearance procedures (including specialized inspection implemented by other line ministries and agencies); harmonize the implementation of risk-based approaches between the national and provincial levels; train national and provincial customs officers and staff from other ministries on risk management; and facilitate dialogue between customs and business and between stakeholders in Hanoi and in the provinces.

Activity Background

Objective: The overall aim is to provide assessment and recommend solutions for Vietnam to strengthen cooperation and coordination among authorities and agencies responsible for border controls and procedures dealing with the importation, exportation, and transit of goods in order to facilitate trade.

Background: Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded the negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force in February 2017 after two-thirds of WTO members completed their ratification process. Vietnam had notified the WTO of acceptance of the Protocol of Amendment and ratification of the TFA on 15 December 2015. Vietnam has undertaken a self-assessment of the articles or measures of the WTO TFA identifying which are Category ‘A’ (measures that will be implemented by the time the TFA enters into force); Category ‘B’ (measures that will be implemented after a transitional period following entry into force of the TFA); and Category ‘C’ (measures that will be implemented on a date after a transitional period following entry into force of the TFA and requiring the acquisition of assistance and support for capacity building). The Government of Vietnam (GVN) subsequently identified 14 measures as Category ‘B’ and 9 measures as Category ‘C’.

In 2020 the Program conducted a study and issued a Report on Vietnam’s Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Report provided an assessment on Vietnam’s current status and situation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) measures identified as Category A, B and C, and recommendations of acceptance, validation and further action for full implementation and timeline for full implementation of the Agreement against notifications sent to the WTO. Following the Report, the Program will support GDVC to design a roadmap to facilitate the implementation of commitments that Vietnam still must complete by the end of 2024. According to the updated notification of GDVC regarding the TFA commitments, introduced to the WTO on May 2022, Vietnam has met more than 80-percent of its TFA commitments, and it expects to reach the 94.5% by the end of 2023 to accomplish the full implementation of the agreement by the end of 2024. While Vietnam was able to implement most of the commitments before the date notified at the time it acceded to the TFA, there are four commitments in category C (art. 1.2 Information Available through Internet; art. 5.3, Test Procedures; art. 7.4, Risk Management; and Art. 8, Border Agency Cooperation) whose date of implementation has been delayed and it is not expired.

While the Program has already provided technical assistance for articles 1.2, 5.3 and 7.4, the delayed commitment of article 8.1 reflects the challenges faced by the Program in promoting further trade facilitation reforms in Vietnam due to the unsatisfactory level of cooperation among Line Ministries, especially at central level. Indeed, Line Ministries objected or delayed the implementation of several reform projects prepared by GDVC with the support of the Program, for example, the draft Decree reforming specialized inspections, or the Decree for sharing information between Agencies through the National Single Window, or, again, the proposal to set up an inter-agency risk management center. Moreover, the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), i.e., the institution led by a Deputy Prime Minister and participated by all the relevant Ministries at vice-Ministers level, has only partially satisfied the needs to smoothly promote the implementation of the TFA and the reforms in Vietnam. Indeed, a report prepared by the Program in 2020 on the activities of the NTFC, identified several measures which might help to improve the effectiveness of this organ, participated by all the Line Ministries and lead by a Deputy Prime Minister. However, it seems that the NTFC leadership did not take on board the recommendations listed in the report.

Objective of the activity. Under this Scope of Work, the Program is seeking an international WTO TFA expert to conduct a detailed assessment of the implementation level of Article 8.1– National Border Agency Cooperation, to provide recommendations on solutions and roadmap to achieve the goal of strengthening cooperation and coordination among Vietnam’s authorities and agencies responsible for border control and procedure dealing with importation, exportation, and transit of goods in order to facilitate trade as required in Articles 8.1 of the Agreement.

The expert will conduct the assessment at two level:

  • At central level, focusing in particular on assessing the level of cooperation among relevant GVN agencies involved in Trade Facilitation activities;
  • At border level, conducting specific “Business Process Analysis” focusing on selected specialized inspection procedures carried out in key selected locations, i.e., a port, an airport, a land border and an industrial zone (or a special economic zone)

Tasks and Responsibilities

The international WTO TFA expert will be responsible for providing a report on the results of desk review and the discussions held with the relevant stakeholders about the overall landscape of the current border control system in terms of procedures and institutions and the challenges faced by the stakeholders in enforcing regulations and coordinating with each other under the current system. The report will provide solutions and a tentative roadmap of the institutional and procedural steps necessary to address any problems, with the goal of simplifying procedures and strengthening border agency cooperation and coordination to facilitate trade, at border and at central level. In order to fulfill the tasks and responsibilities, the expert will:

  1. Participate in meetings (online/ hybrid) with the counterpart to better understand their expectations and identify the port, airport, land border and industrial zone/special economic zone the expert will conduct cooperation/ coordination reviews at. The expert will receive from the Program all the relevant reports and any other information useful to avoid duplications and ensure an efficient use of the resources.
  2. Prepare an Inception Report identifying the main actions and methodology for conducting the assessment at central level and in the selected localities. The report will contain a proposed workplan detailing the proposed activities/ meetings/ site visits.
  3. At Central level:
    • Once the workplan is approved, the expert will conduct a desk review and hold discussions with border agencies, focusing on, but not limited to, key agencies such as MOIT, MOF, MOST, MOH, and MARD on current border control practices, the extent of current cooperation and coordination, including test procedure for cases where testing is required by more than one agency (Article 5.3). Within this framework, the expert will also meet Private Sector representatives to understand their perspective. (Note: Questions will likely need to be submitted in advance of meetings).b.      The analysis may also include the assessment of the level of participation of relevant agencies in the NTFC.
    • Provide recommendations, solutions to address identified challenges, including international examples/ best practice of inter-agency cooperation on border controls.
    • Prepare a roadmap to implement recommendations and solutions to ensure the full implementation of article 8.1.
    • Consult with stakeholders and finalize the report.
  4. At Operational level, in the selected border stations/ industrial zone/special economic zone:
    • Meet with stakeholders (Private Sector and Govt.) to understand the general levels of coordination/ cooperation between the Border Agencies.
    • Conduct business process analyses (level of depth to be determined by the consultant) on selected procedures/operations in each of the identified four areas.
    • Propose process re-engineering to enhance coordination, as appropriate, in cooperation with relevant agencies.
    • Identify systemic problems and challenges in coordination and cooperation, including the ability/ use of the NSW to support multi-agency import/ export procedures.
    • Incorporate operational level findings into the final report.


  • An agreed Inception Report, including methodology and workplan, describing the different actions the expert will carry out;
  • A Presentation at the consultation meetings or workshop
  • A final report including the results of consultations, findings, recommendations and including international examples/ best practice of inter-agency cooperation on border controls.
  • A presentation of the main findings to USAID


  • Minimum 15 years’ experience of work relating to the coordinated approach to border management in multiple countries;
  • Proven experience of working with, or practical knowledge of, implementing the WTO TFA;
  • Good understanding of the WTO and WCO instruments such as the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC);
  • Background knowledge and understanding of the current status of Vietnam as related to trade facilitation measures and implementation of the WTO TFA;
  • Proficient in word processing, spreadsheets and office software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Applications;
  • Good communicator with strong English written, oral and presentation skills; and
  • Ability to travel to and within Vietnam.


The national WTO TFA Expert will report to Mr. Claudio Dordi, Chief of Party ([email protected])  and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Bich Ha, the Program’s Trade and National Trade Facilitation Committee Expert ([email protected]).

How to apply

Proposals should be submitted to [email protected] no later than October 6, 2022.

  1. Cover letter (no longer than 1 page)
  2. CVs (see attached template); 
  3. Updated USAID 1420 form (see attached template)
  4. Cost proposal (See attached template)”
Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Thu, 2022-10-06