Trade facilitation masterclass for practitioners and policy makers

This is one of our flagship offerings. The masterclass is particularly well suited for those who need to quickly gain an advanced understanding of what trade facilitation is about, and then apply that knowledge in a practical context.

Course participants might be:

  • members of National Trade Faciliation Committees from the public or private sector
  • officials with responsibilities for effective border management (Customs and Non-Customs)
  • trade, logistics and supply chain management professionals who wish to encourage reforms that reduce the impact of trade and customs procedures on their business operations
  • managers tasked with projects that have a strong trade facilitation component
  • lawyers and public affairs specialists
  • trade economist and researchers

The course is delivered online via Zoom in a small group format (max 12). Interactivity is strongly encouraged throughout. The course includes development exercises that aim to identify personal action points and set goals that can be practically pursued.

As part of the course you will also be given an electronic resource file that includes an accompanying slide-pack and texts as well as a detailed list of reference resources. We hope that at the end of the course you will know how to become a competent trade facilitator in line with your specific requirements.

Course Outline

Course duration: 1.5 days (structured in 3 sessions)

Session 1: Trade Facilitation Concepts and Principles

Here we provide a broad overview about what trade facilitation is, what trade facilitation seeks to achieve, and why trade facilitation matters. The subject is discussed from the top-down by reference to contemporary trade and customs policy, and from the bottom-up by reference to contemporary cross-border logistics operations, supply chain arrangements, and border control requirements. Key principles, concepts, and ideas are explained.

Underlying objectives that will be elaborated on are:

  • to make international trade and cross-border processes more efficient, less costly and easier
  • harness data-sharing technologies and equipment to best effect
  • to improve coordination and cooperations between the various parties involved in cross-border logistics operations (public and private sector)
  • to explore opportunities, learn from best practices, hold parties accountable to their respective commitments, and innovate

Session 2: Approaches to Trade Facilitation

There are many approaches to trade facilitation. Here we take a closer look at: the economic and operational case for trade facilitation; getting to grips with making that case by drawing on standard assessment approaches from the bottom-up; and how to best draw inspiration from best practices and innovations from the top-down. Attention is drawn to the work of National Trade Facilitation Committees and similar public-private sector organisations. This session also covers funding requirements, pathways towards improving trade facilitation, and the need to make best use of limited financial resources.

Session 3: Getting Things Done – delivering trade facilitation

Trade facilitation is a very practical subject and while concepts and ideas may appear straight forward, their adoption and implementation can be riddled with challenges. In this session we take a closer look at the obstacles to trade facilitation and how they may be overcome. We also explore how reform power can be harnessed to good effect, take a look at common project implementation approaches, and consider the need for the public and private sector to effectively engage and coordinate. Assessment and evaluation approaches are discussed to ensure that scarce resources are put to good use, hold relevant parties accountable, and to make sure that future projects benefit from any lessons learnt.


A reasonably good understanding of English is essential. We ask that when you attend you are in a relatively undisturbed environment. Comfort breaks are offered on the hour, and there will be a lunch break, too. Please note that Zoom software is dependent on a stable internet connection. Interactivity is greatly enhanced if the camera is switched on (though we understand the this is not always feasible).


We recognise that participants will have different backgrounds and experiences. Prior knowledge of trade facilitation is welcome, but not essential. If you are new to the topic, that is OK, too

The small group format allows for a deep and rich learning experience. Prior to delivering the course we will contact you with a brief list of questions to help fine-tune course content and delivery.

Upon course completion

The course is designed to encourage the setting of personal action points and organisational goals. We hope that these will serve you well in your ongoing endeavours and becoming an effective trade facilitator.

A certificate of participation will be provided


The course will not be recorded. This is to ensure that there is room for a lively discussion and interaction. A set of presentation slides with a list of additional learning resources is emailed closer to the start date. Questions and dialogue are actively encouraged throughout the course. During the course we will also conduct a few exercises to help identify any action points that you may wish to pursue upon completion of the course. Such action points might relate to your personal development and/or the pursuit of a specific professional goal.

Your Instructor

The course is delivered by Prof Dr Andrew Grainger.


To be announced

Please note that it can be difficult to gauge potential demand. Do reach out to us if you would like us to set additional dates and time slots.

Fee / Costs

To be advised.