Development of a Time Release Study Methodology for Agricultural Goods

Funding Agency:
US Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) seeks to deepen its understanding of the various barriers impacting the time it takes agricultural goods to cross international borders. Agricultural goods can take a significant amount of time to cross borders because of the multiple regulatory agencies involved in inspections; these time delays can lead to significant losses – particularly in highly perishable goods.

FAS seeks a standardized methodology and metrics to measure the time release of agricultural goods across international borders. The methodology will be used to: 1) identify points of significant delay in the clearance of agricultural goods, so that FAS can work with trading partners to address these barriers and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures with the intent to speed clearance of agricultural goods; and 2) to measure results from projects that support trade facilitation.

The methodology will be built upon the World Customs Organization (WCO) Time Release Study (TRS). The TRS is a strategic and internationally recognized tool to measure the actual time required for the release and/or clearance of goods, with a view to finding bottlenecks in the trade flow process. However, the existing WCO methodology is not specific to agriculture and does not have the specificity needed to capture and measure the often unique and additional clearance steps required for agricultural goods. The design of a more targeted and standardized methodology based on the WCO will ensure uniformity across FAS in how the data are gathered and will allow for aggregation and comparison of data across projects.

Application Submission Deadline: August 7, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

U.S. State Cooperative Institutions or other colleges and universities in the United States.

An applicant may submit more than one proposal, i.e. to address each proposed subject area.



Amount Description

Available Funding for the NOFO: The award will be up to $160,000.

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 7, 2020