TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR SHORT–TERM CONSULTANCY TO ASSIST VIETNAM CUSTOMS WITH PREPARATION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF WTO TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT IN VIETNAM
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was passed by the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali on 6 December 2013. After the approval of this Agreement, each developing country Member shall prepare for its implementation.
In this process, Vietnam Customs needs to review the relevant legislations with the commitments in the Agreement, then submit to the Government to amend accordingly. Moreover, Vietnam Customs, with the leading role in negotiating and expediting the TFA into force, also has to develop an Action plan for the Agreement as well as to consult and submit to the Prime Minister a project to establish the National TF Committee or the equivalent mechanism.
Regarding provision of assistance for capacity building, under Section II of TFA, donor members agree to facilitate provision of assistance and support for capacity building to developing country and least developed country Members, on mutually agreed terms and either bilaterally or through the appropriate international organizations. The objective is to assist developing country and least developed country Members to implement commitments under this Agreement. Vietnam Customs has requested the Southeast Asia Prosperity Fund, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom to provide assistance and support for capacity building with regard to the fulfillment of the above mentioned tasks.
Objectives of the consultancy
The purpose of this assignment is to help Vietnam Customs review the current trade and customs legislations with commitments in TFA, to build an action plan for the TFA and to prepare a project for establishment of a National TF Committee by March 2015.
Indicative activities of the consultancy
Indicative activities of the consultancy include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The focus of the TF consultant(s) in this project will be to review the current trade and customs legislations with commitments in TFA, to build an action plan for the TFA implementation and to prepare a project for establishment of a National TF Committee by March 2015, and assist Vietnam Customs in preparing the final documents to submit to the Government. This task is to be conducted in close cooperation with local experts and the relevant ministries and governmental authorities.
-The local consultants shall gather the results, discussions and feedback during their work then discuss with the international consultant for final recommendations.
- From the time of contracting, the TF consultant(s) will work in reviewing legislations, giving out proposal on National TF Committee based on his/her knowledge on TF issues as well as the other countries’ experiences.
- During the mission In February or early March, 2015, the TF consultant(s) will consult with Vietnam Customs, to develop a final report of legal review. The TF consultant(s) will recommend a work plan for Vietnam Customs.
- Acting as speaker in the workshop in Ha Noi to disseminate results. This task includes the preparation of PowerPoint presentations and other supporting materials that may be needed for dissemination during and after the workshop.
Expected products of the consultancy include the following:
- A legal review of current trade and customs legislations with commitments in the TFA then propose a list of issues to be amended.
- An Working Action Plan to implement the TFA for Vietnam;
- Proposal of a project to establish a National TF Committee or equivalent mechanism.
Level of effort, duration and schedule of the assignment
. For international consultant: The activities will be conducted within 16 days from January to March, 2015. The TF consultant(s) will conduct a two-day mission in Vietnam in February or March 2015 to help Vietnam Customs and the rest can be done remotely. The estimated level of effort of the consultancy is 10days, plus additional international travel as necessary.
· For domestic consultant(s): The activities will be conducted within 30 days from November to March, 2015.
· Acting as speakers in the workshop in Ha Noi to present on the objectives of this project. This task includes the preparation of PowerPoint presentations and any material that may be needed for dissemination during and after the workshop
The specific timeframe and structure of each mission are to be arranged and agreed between Vietnam Customs and the experts.
Place of work
The assignment will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, and home-based as necessary for the work to be performed.
Supervision and coordination of assignment
The consultant will work under the supervision of Mr.Vu Ngoc Anh – Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs or his designee.
All experts are requested to proactively conduct consultation with other donors and local stakeholders to ensure coordination, avoiding overlapping and tap on existing resources/achievements.
Technical area of expertise and experience requirements for the consultancy
The assignment will require the following areas of expertise and experience of the consultant:
· Experience as an expert of international trade organizations or at WTO trade facilitation committee or of a country member, familiar with working on trade facilitation issues to help WTO country members to fulfill their obligations under WTO Agreements.
· Solid grasp of international trade, trade facilitation and customs substantive issues
· In-depth knowledge in legal/policy, border procedures, customs procedures and control
· Excellent skills in technical assistance and capacity building, verbal and written communications and presentations
· Experience in national needs assessment under Trade Facilitation Agreement, in developing a national action plan for TF and establishing a national TF Committee.
The assignments will be funded by FCO. Funding will follow the project rules set out in the Grant Contract concluded between Vietnam Customs and FCO.