The logic of formal trade agreements is that they describe what is agreed and what sanctions apply in the event of a deviation from the rules set out in the agreement.  Trade agreements therefore make misunderstandings less likely and create confidence on both sides that fraud will be punished; this increases the likelihood of long-term cooperation.  An international organization such as the IMF can provide additional incentives for cooperation by monitoring compliance with agreements and informing third countries of violations.  Monitoring by international bodies may be necessary to uncover non-tariff barriers, which are disguised attempts to create barriers to trade.  A trade agreement signed between more than two parties (usually in the neighbouring country or in the same region) is considered multilateral. They face the greatest obstacles – in the negotiation of the substance and in implementation. The more countries involved, the more difficult it is to achieve mutual satisfaction. Once this type of trade agreement is finalized, it becomes a very powerful agreement. The larger the GDP of the signatories, the greater the impact on other global trade relations.
The most important multilateral trade agreement is the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.  The Market Access Card was developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to facilitate market access issues for businesses, governments and researchers. The database, which is visible via the market access card online tool, contains information on tariff and non-tariff barriers in all active trade agreements, not limited to those officially notified to the WTO. It also documents data on non-preferential trade agreements (e.B. Generalised System of Preferences). By 2019, the Market Access Map has provided downloadable links to textual agreements and their rules of origin.  The new version of the Market Access Card, to be published this year, will provide direct web links to relevant contract pages and connect to other CIR tools, in particular the Rules of Origin Facilitator. It is expected to become a versatile tool to help businesses understand free trade agreements and qualify for the original requirements under these agreements.