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Customs formalities are a necessary part of international trade. It is important to ensure that customs rules and procedures are not unduly trade restrictive and are not used as non tariff trade barriers.
Contracting Parties to the GATT 1947 and WTO Members have addressed customs rules and procedures in a number of GATT Articles, the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT (commonly referred to as the Customs Valuation Agreement), the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection, and the Agreement on Rules of Origin.
WTO Members are currently addressing numerous customs rules and procedures in the trade facilitation negotiations.