The present issue completes a series of articles which began with FAL Bulletin No. 167 and continued with FAL Bulletin Nos. 171, 175, 178, 181, 184 and 187. A compendium of these studies has been published in Spanish as Document No. 19 of the ECLAC Comercio internacional series (December 2001) under the title 'Facilitación del comercio: un concepto urgente para un tema recurrente'. The present issue of the FAL Bulletin summarizes that study.