Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) refer to restrictions that result from prohibitions, conditions, or specific market requirements that make importation or exportation of products difficult and/or costly. NTBs also include unjustified and/or improper application of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) such as sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and other technical barriers to Trade (TBT).

NTBs arise from different measures taken by governments and authorities in the form of government laws, regulations, policies, conditions, restrictions or specific requirements, and private sector business practices, or prohibitions that protect the domestic industries from foreign competition.

Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers

Non-Tariff Barriers to trade can arise from:

    • Import bans
    • General or product-specific quotas
    • Complex/discriminatory Rules of Origin
    • Quality conditions imposed by the importing country on the exporting countries
    • Unjustified Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary conditions
    • Unreasonable/unjustified packaging, labelling, product standards
    • Complex regulatory environment
    • Determination of eligibility of an exporting country by the importing country
    • Determination of eligibility of an exporting establishment (firm, company) by the importing country.
    • Additional trade documents like Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Authenticity etc
    • Occupational safety and health regulation
    • Employment law
    • Import licenses
    • State subsidies, procurement, trading, state ownership
    • Export subsidies
    • Fixation of a minimum import price
    • Product classification
    • Quota shares
    • Multiplicity and Controls of Foreign exchange market
    • Inadequate infrastructure
    • "Buy national" policy
    • Over-valued currency
    • Restrictive licenses
    • Seasonal import regimes
    • Corrupt and/or lengthy customs procedures