RFP: Time Release Study+ for Kosovo Encompassing Import, Export

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Request for expression of interest for selection # 1276115

This Request for Expression of Interest is for a Firm Selection.

Publication Date 06-Aug-2021
Expression of Interest Deadline 23-Aug-2021 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)
Language of Notice  English

Assignment Country XK - Kosovo
Funding Sources The World Bank Group intends to finance the assignment/services under:BB - BANK BUDGET TF0A7199 - TFA EU ECA
Individual/Firm The consultant will be a firm.



Electronic Submissions through World Bank Group eConsultant2



Assignment Countries:
- Kosovo


Trade facilitation plays an important role in a country's economic development as it enhances competitiveness by reducing transaction costs and time to import and export goods. Simplified, transparent trade procedures are a key component of good trade policy and vital for economic growth. This is particularly important for developing countries as they strive to increase exports and overall trade and to strengthen domestic economic activity. Eliminating cross border bureaucratic bottlenecks, streamlining processes and implementation of modern automated systems are critical to improving trade facilitation.

Border crossing and clearance procedures tend to result in some of the most significant and time-consuming delays in international trade and add significant costs to import/export transactions. This is particularly true in the case of land-locked countries.

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) aims to reduce trade costs thereby boosting trade between countries and raising world income. Developing countries are expected to see the biggest gains since they currently face some of the largest procedural obstacles. Studies suggest that their trade cost will fall by 13% to 15%. This will enable consumers to gain access to a greater variety of goods. For companies, it means imports at lower cost and better entry to foreign markets.

In addition to the TFA, other key cross border related agreements are, the Revised Kyoto Convention administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) which is considered the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures, and the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which sets out the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant health standards.

These international documents acknowledge that the time required to release and clear goods is a highly effective measure by which the international trading community assesses the efficiency of border processes in individual countries. Governments, border administrations and business have all recognized that harmonizing and simplifying clearance procedures and documentation with international standards and norms is beneficial to their importers, exporters and national economies.

The time required to release goods has increasingly become the measure by which the international trading community assesses the effectiveness of border clearance processes in individual countries. One method used for the review of clearance procedures is to measure the average time taken between the arrival of goods and their release from border control. The World Customs Organization (WCO) has developed a methodology for conducting time release studies which has been used by many countries to measure the time required for completing operational procedures necessary for the release of goods.

A Time Release Study+ provides reliable and validated information on the time taken at various stages in the clearance process and enables officials to identify areas within the process that can be improved in order to reduce release times. The Time Release Study+ (TRS+) will determine through an international accepted scientific methodology the time required to carry out each step in the clearance process involving customs and other government agency requirements. Based on an analysis of the study results, strategies and plans will be developed to simplify, harmonize and streamline business processes with the objective of ultimately reducing trade compliance costs and time.

The TRS+ establishes current performance levels of import, export and transit transactions (measuring all activities by all involved parties) in terms of processing times. This information is critical in identifying current weaknesses and bottlenecks and will provide an objective baseline measurement against which the impacts of reforms and modernization can be measured and evaluated over time.

The Time Release Study+ planned to be carried out in Kosovo by the World Bank Groups Trade Facilitation Support Program for Europe and Central Asia (ECA TFSP) will follow the principles set by the World Customs Organization, which focuses on the at the border processes (TRS), and complement it with data regarding before the border procedures (TRS+):

  • The WCO Time Release Study (TRS) is a unique tool and method for measuring the actual performance of border agencies as they directly relate to trade facilitation at the border. The TRS measures relevant aspects of the effectiveness of operational procedures that are carried out by the regulatory actors in the standard processing of imports, exports and in transit movements: it measures the time taken by officials of the border control agencies physically located at the border crossing points and/or inland clearance points who are involved in applying their regulations to the goods for example the time taken by the inspection authorities in physically examining consignments to ensure that the goods are in compliance with the countrys sanitary, veterinary or phytosanitary requirements.
  • Additionally, the Project wishes to measure the time needed to satisfy the regulatory requirements that are applied before the arrival of the goods at the border for example the time needed to obtain an import permit. This TRS- Plus analysis produces a more comprehensive picture of the time required to meet all government requirements for the import/export of goods such as permit and licensing requirements, specialized cargo inspection and payment of fees and charges.
  • Building on the TRS methodology, the scope of this TOR for TRS Plus additionally measures the time taken by Cross Border Regulatory Agencies (CBRA) to carry out their respective processes and sub-processes for reception, analysis and approval/rejection of applications for Licence, Certificate, Permit or Other form of regulatory approval (LCPOs) and also terminal documentary and logistic processes on selected products. This TRS-Plus analysis will add to the information obtained at the border crossing points and the terminals to produce a more comprehensive picture of the time taken for businesses to import, export or transit goods. The TRS+ process starts with the application by a trader or broker/agent for an LCPO and ends with cargo exit from the port/border post.

A Time Release Study+ was already carried out once before in Kosovo in 2016. Time Release Studies should be repeated regularly. It is highly desirable that the process be repeated and the results given wide publicity, including posting of the report on the government websites and sharing with the World Customs Organization.

The consultant will be a firm.


The World Bank Group now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc. Please note that the total size of all attachments should be less than 5MB. Consultants may associate to enhance their qualifications.

Interested firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted, in English, electronically through World Bank Group eConsultant2 (https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org/wbgec/index.html)


Following this invitation for Expression of Interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Shortlisting and selection will be subject to the availability of funding.

Only those firms which have been shortlisted will receive notification. No debrief will be provided to firms which have not been shortlisted.

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