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Non-tariff measures - increasing transparency and understanding (2010-2012)
The project aims at increasing transparency and understanding about Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and related obstacles to trade. For exporters (and importers), trade support institutions and policy makers, transparent information and an understanding about NTMs that affect their products is critical for decision making, whether related to exporting directly, to assisting exporters, or to define national strategies addressing the obstacles exporters face when complying with NTMs. The business sector often lacks the information, capabilities, and facilities to meet the complex requirements and demonstrate compliance with NTMs at reasonable costs. Many NTMs are experienced as burdensome due to related domestic challenges. National policy makers often lack a clear picture of what their business sector currently perceives as predominant obstacles to trade and this makes it difficult to develop appropriate strategies to overcome these challenges. This project helps to identify and understand the non-tariff obstacles to trade the business sector in 27 countries experience when exporting and importing their goods. The business perspective on the issue of NTMs is indispensable in the definition of national strategies and policies that help overcome obstacles to trade. Exporters and importers have to deal with NTMs on a day-to-day basis, and they know best the specific challenges they face. The understanding of their key concerns helps governments better define the needs for concrete action and capacity building, for example in the area of technical regulations. This project will also provide the business sector and others involved in international trade with easy access to the non-tariff regulations their products need to comply with when being exported and imported. Existing information on government-imposed regulations is limited, scattered across sources and not comparable across countries. The project helps to overcome this lack: Non-tariff measures of major importers and other countries will be collected, classified and disseminated as a public good through a web portal which will provide streamlined and transparent NTM data at country- and product-level.