From the clip of the colony of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT ) in 1948, the universe trading system has witnessed cardinal reforms The WTO Agreements, which were the results of the 1986-94 Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade dialogues ; present subjects on a wider and deeper committedness to merchandise liberalisation. The range of these Agreements extends beyond the traditional trade issues and chiefly addressed the decrease of duties and quotas as barriers against trade in goods at state boundary lines. However, consecutive unit of ammunitions of many-sided trade dialogues at the WTO, and the dialogue of legion bilateral and regional trade agreements have led to a significant decrease in planetary duties. Non- duties steps have significantly been ensured due to the lessening in duties.

A broad scope of non-tariff barriers to merchandise ( NTBs ) is therefore now the topic of a figure of many-sided and lawfully adhering WTO Agreements. These Agreements deal with proficient issues that could affect hinderance to merchandise or be used as instruments for restrictive and prejudiced trade policies. Their usage has risen aggressively after the WTO regulations led to a really important decrease in duty usage Contrary to tariff steps ( responsibilities ) which are usually crystalline, NTBs are frequently more hard to observe because they can be “ concealed ” in regulations and patterns that have a absolutely legitimate aim. They besides leave more discretion to decision makers in using them. They include Agreements on proficient barriers to merchandise, import quotas, particular licences, unreasonable criterions for the quality of goods, bureaucratic holds at imposts, export limitations, restricting the activities of province trading, export subsidies, A offseting responsibilities, healthful and phytosanitary steps, regulations of beginning, etc.

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Types of NTBs

2.1 Technical barriers to merchandise

Since 1995 when the WTO was established, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade topographic points even more strict subjects on proficient ordinances and provides a model for cut downing trade barriers. Technical Barriers to Trade ( TBT ) are nevertheless referred to proficient ordinances and voluntary criterions that set out specific features of a merchandise, such as its size, form, design, maps and public presentation, or the manner a merchandise is labelled or packaged before it enters the market place.

To forestall these steps from going unneeded barriers, the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) A Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade contains regulations:

WTO members are required non to know apart and to use the same intervention for in domestically produced goods, and ‘like merchandises ‘ from other members

Alternatively of concentrating on the design, or other descriptive features, states are encouraged to establish ordinances on demands in footings of the public presentation of a merchandise,

Members are encouraged to follow international criterions, or at the lower limit to stay by the ordinances from other states.

To obtain utile information on recent international criterions, states may implement a ‘National Enquiry Point ‘ , which would be a ‘one halt store ‘ . Furthermore, other WTO members may obtain information on that state ‘s proficient ordinances, criterions and testing processs through this enquiry point. Member ‘s standards-related understandings, engagement in regional standardizing organic structures and conformance systems would besides be covered in this.

Adoption of a codification of pattern which will promote states to acknowledge each others ‘testing processs and would sketch processs for the readying, acceptance and application of criterions. This Code. Exporters would be allowed to prove their merchandises against an importing state ‘s criterions at place.

2.2 Licenses

In curtailing imports, an effectual mechanism has been import licences. Under an import licensing strategy, importers of a trade good are required to obtain a licence for each cargo they bring into the state. Without explicitly using a quota mechanism, a state can merely curtail imports on any footing it chooses through its allotment of import licences. Prior to the execution of NAFTA, for illustration, Mexico required that wheat and other agricultural trade good imports be permitted merely under licence.

Procedures associated with a figure of these patterns meeting that definition is besides covered by the understanding, including import blessings, import permissions or licenses, and activity licences required for importing. Agreement ‘s commissariats besides include guidelines for what constitutes a just and non-discriminatory application of such processs with the end of protecting Members from unreasonable demands or holds associated with a licensing government. To guarantee that extra barriers are non created to merchandise beyond the enforced policy steps, are non these duties were therefore implemented.

2.3 Quotas

Quotas on imports and exports of goods- quantitative restrictions- can be closely associated with licensing of foreign trade. A quota can be defined as a restriction in value or in physical footings, imposed on import and export of certain goods for a certain period of clip. It includes seasonal quotas planetary quotas in regard to specific states, and alleged “ voluntary ” export restraints. With respect to come ining foreign markets, licences and quotas limit the independency of endeavors, contracting the scope of states which may merchandise in certain trade goods, modulate the figure and scope of goods permitted for import and export.

Bing a member of the WTO, China has removed import quota licencing control over refined oil merchandises, motor vehicles vehicle tyres, natural gum elastic under certain duty codifications and cardinal parts since 2004. At latter day of the month, WTO members lifted limitations on certain Chinese exports ( such as fabrics ) and China besides eliminated the quota and licensing demands on the export merchandises concerned.

2.4 Standards, Sanitary and phytosanitary steps

Non- duty barriers can besides take the signifier of Standards. They are normally impose by states on labeling, categorization, and proving of merchandises in order to market and sell domestic merchandises, and to cut down the gross revenues of foreign merchandises. However, authoritiess are allowed to move on trade in order to protect human, animate being or works life or wellness, provided they do non know apart or utilize this as cloaked protectionism as per the Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT ) .

For nutrient safety and animate being and works wellness and safety, two specific WTO understandings serve the intent, with merchandise criterions in general. Both are geared towards placing how to run into the demand to use criterions and at the same clip avoid protectionism in camouflage. The Sanitary and Phytosannitary ( SPS ) Agreement provides Members of the WTO with the right to utilize SPS steps to protect human, animate being and works life or wellness. There are 14 articles covering assorted human, animate being and works wellness considerations that arise from international trade, including transparence, proficient aid for developing states, the usage of international criterions ( harmonisation ) , hazard appraisal, , and dispute colony among others.

2.5 Physical Infrastructure Barriers

The physical substructure and local administrative organic structures of a state for the protection local involvements pose troubles for route transit, private and commercial hauling, or interstate buying and distribution. Market barriers may be a consequence of route conditions of roads, airdromes, seaports and telecommunication limit the market potency For case ; route Thailand has non kept its route building up with traffic growing. It faces major troubles for the motion of merchandises and people, with high traffic jam.

3.0 NTBs and Mauritius

Since the 1880ss, trade has been liberalized in Mauritius and most of licences for import and export of goods have been abolished. Mauritius has largely removed legislated non-tariff barriers and by and large no quotas are imposed on exports or imports. However there are still a few merchandises which do necessitate particular licenses or certifications under the Consumer Protection Act. These merchandises frequently require an import or export license for environmental, phytosanitary, and national security grounds.

Mauritius has a set of excise responsibilities and by definition are applicable to both local and imported goods. However even after the exercising of rationalisation of the imposts and excise responsibilities, which was carried out in 1994, there has ever been some signifier of favoritism between some of the merchandises which are imported and those produced locally.

Furthermore, sing Import licenses, they are required harmonizing to the type of merchandises being imported as discussed above ( harmonizing to the Consumer Protection Act ) . Normally the establishment responsible for the imports control is the Ministry of Commerce and the bringing of the specific certifications is carried out by the undermentioned organic structures:

Merchandises or classs of merchandises for which imports

Relevant Bodies

Type of licenses required

Agricultural goods

( Grains, workss, or seeds fruit and veggies )

Ministry of Agriculture for ( the Plant Quarantine Service )

Phytosanitary certification

Animal merchandises

( carnal groceries, meat, fish merchandises, and unrecorded animate beings, Livestock, meat and offals )

Ministry of Agriculture for ( the Veterinary Division ) ;

Health certification ( veterinary control )

Alcoholic drinks

Customss and Excise Department

Certificate of analysis on first importing

Prepared nutrients, drugs, and chemicals with possible inauspicious effects on wellness ;

Ministry of Health

Phytosanitary Certificate

Pharmaceutical Merchandises

Ministry of Health

Health Certificate


Ministry of Health

Import License

Weaponries and ammos


Import License

Cinema movies

Ministry of Information

Import License

Telecommunications equipment

Mauritius Telecom

Import License

Fish and fish merchandises

Ministry of Fisheries

Health Certificate

4.0 Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers from Across the Globe


The Australian authorities maintains prohibitions on some agricultural imports by manner of quarantine and wellness limitations. Items include chiefly Florida citrous fruit, rock fruit, apples, poulet, porc, California tabular array grapes and maize.


In Canada, import of fresh or processed veggies and nutrient in bundles transcending certain standard bundle sizes are prohibited unless a ministerial easement or freedom is granted by the Government of Canada.

European Union ( EU )

A series of directives have been adopted by the EU which set up indispensable demands for a whole assortment of equipment including telecommunications equipment. To bespeak that it has complied with all relevant directives Equipment must be labeled with the CE grade. Other states such as Japan and the US have their ain criterions for telecommunications and equipment. The intent of such ordinances includes electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility, user safety and quality of communications.


China ‘s current patterns including banking, finance, revenue enhancement and insurance constructions are usually seen to be bureaucratic and cumbrous. To make a seamless flow of merchandise traveling one manner and payment traveling the other manner is the end of any supply concatenation or logistics director. For illustration, a company being in joint ventures with different locations supplied by one provider may hold to do a separate payment from each venture to the provider.

United States

However, in the US, before an Industrial intoxicant manufactured in Canada and shipped to the U.S can be sold, it must be tested at a U.S. installation because Canadian trial criterions for the merchandise are non acknowledge in the US. Without the testing, the exporter would pay an excise revenue enhancement.

4.1 Non-tariff barriers and merchandises affected that have been notified to SADC


Examples of merchandises affected

Import prohibitions, quotas and levies

Wheat, beer, domestic fowl, flour, meat, maize, UHT milk, sugar, eggs, pasta, sorghum, port, fruit and veggies ;

Non-agricultural: cement

Import prohibitions, quotas and levies, impacting on, e.g. , denial of penchants

Salt, fishmeal, pasta

Import licenses and levies

UHT milk, staff of life, eggs, sugar, fruit and veggies, farm animal, spirits, cooking oils, corn, oysters

Single selling channels

Wheat, dairy, meat, maize, tea, baccy, sugar

Rules of beginning

Rice, curry pulverization, wheat flour, palm oil ;

Non-agricultural: semi-trailers ; fabrics and vesture ; coat ornaments ; soap

Export revenue enhancements

Dried beans, unrecorded animate beings, fells and teguments, sugar, baccy, maize, meat, java ;

Non-agricultural: wood


Milk, meat, canned tuna, beer, honey, maize, bran, cotton bar, domestic fowl, sugar, java, ostriches ;

Non-agricultural: batteries


Wine, salt ;

Non-agricultural: Cu dressed ore, electronic equipment, medicines an cosmetics

Beginning: World Bank, Africa Trade Policy Note no. 9, November 2010, writer ‘s computations

5.0 How are NTBs haltering trade?

Broad universe trading system faces the greatest menace from Non-tariff barriers ( NTBs ) . Problems every bit serious as responsibility rates and existent duty charged at boundary lines may be created by the NTBs. When the intent of these proficient steps goes beyond legitimated policy aims it may make great troubles. Some states may mistreat of them on the evidences of trade policy for it to go a cloaked aspect of protectionism by unjustly and below the belt curtailing imports and favoritism in done among domestically and foreign produced goods.

The construction of modulating trade will finally be influenced by the execution of these understandings. It is by and large agreed by economic experts that NTBs have negative effects for regional trade. These barriers diminish the possible benefits of trade penchants such as regional trading agreements. Furthermore, the being of NTBs increases the cost of making concern, which in return leads to immense public assistance losingss.

5.1 NTBs and Developing states

Developing states are besides faced with serious jobs by these barriers: 34 % of these states ‘ exports face NTBs. They are most popular in agricultural goods, fabrics, fuels and Fe and steel. Quantitative limitations and ‘voluntary ‘ export restraints are the NTBs that most badly affect developing states.

For case, the tapioca exports of Thailand covered by the Voluntary Export Restraint ( VER ) to the European Community, established in 1982, has caused a diminution of 40 % in tapioca exports and net incomes fell by about $ 300 million ( stand foring over 10 per cent of Thailand ‘s entire export net incomes from the EC ) . However, it does non merely cut down the growing rate but besides the degree of exports has non been widely applied to non-apparel exports of developing Asiatic states other than South Korea.

Furthermore, developing states ‘ Apparel exports are the most affected due to the Multi-Fibre Arrangement ( MFA ) which “ aˆ¦ . constitutes a restrictive system, enforcing economic costs on the economic systems of the development every bit good as industrial states. ”

5.1.1 NTBs and East African community states

Policy shapers and the concern community of the East African states have been mostly concerned by the being of NTBs that is haltering trade among the EAC states. Member states have responded favourably and have accepted to perpetrate themselves in extinguishing all bing NTBs in trade among the EAC states under the EAC Customs ‘ Union Protocol. However, trade between the EAC states is still being hampered by the being of NTBs that are diversely applied by the member provinces. The chief types of NTBs within the community enclose quality review processs and pass throughing processs, imposts certification and administrative processs, in-migration processs that are cumbrous, unstandardized, and dearly-won.

5.1.2 NTBs and India

To states like India, NTMs holds a really particular significance. Burdensome ordinances, expensive conformity costs and restrictive criterions have been major countries in which states have been troubles in deriving entree to developed state markets. A instance survey was undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the consequence of NTBs on India ‘s export of technology merchandises, Marine merchandises, leather merchandises, pharmaceuticals and Mangifera indicas. The decision of that survey was that India faced NTBs associating to

uniformity demands


labor criterions

company and merchandise enrollment

certification and related processs

merchandise enrollment

The study found that with the regulative demands conformity cost frequently proved to be immense for smaller houses than bigger houses. Furthermore, a recent survey prepared by the Federation of Indian chamber of commercialism and Industry ( FICCI ) observed intensification of NTBs during the station GATT period. The study adds that intensification of antidumping steps and quantitative limitations on many merchandises in the United States are illustrations of restrictive trade steps adopted by the developed states

6.0 Recommendations to cut down the effects of NTBS

1. Compulsory use of a individual populace bonded warehouse should be reviewed.

In the instance of Magerwa, to travel through Magerwa raises transport clip and cost. The clip for treating for enrollment, imposts declaration and presentment of the importer can take up to one hebdomad reflecting deficiency of managing equipment and warehousing infinite. Competition in the proviso of bonded warehouses would really likely lessening managing times and increase the quality of service.

2. Simple, transparent and predictable processs need to be applied by imposts for company to profit from Joint Border Controls.

Significant cost is incurred on both the concerns, that have to utilize them, every bit good as the governments that have to administrate them as a consequence of inefficient and dearly-won boundary line processs. For concerns, there are both direct and indirect border-related costs. For case, direct costs would be in footings of disbursals associated with the supply of information appropriate boundary line authorization and costs ensuing from procedural holds, deficiency of predictability in ordinances and lost concern chance. Consequences of such inefficiency incurred by the authorities have been in signifier of unsatisfactory and unequal gross aggregation and restraints in implementing trade policies. Time taken at boundary lines can significantly be reduced by Joint Border Posts.

3. To ease trade and to cut down clearance clip, effectual application of computerized systems which allows for more effectual use of transport resources may be implemented.

In pattern, the clearance clip for imports sums to 3 yearss in mean and this cost is finally borne by users of imported intermediate inputs and consumers. Similarly, due to uncertainnesss in respects to detain on path, companies are non certain about when their cargo will get. Significant tax write-offs and betterment in the mean clearance for exports may be caused by cybernation. However, this requires better be aftering for transporters and even more effectual communicating, for case, through execution of an electronic lading tracking system.

7.0 Decision

However, the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) Agreement on non-tariff barriers to merchandise contains regulations which are straight aimed at forestalling these steps from going unneeded barriers. But to extinguish NTBs, doing a regulation is non equal. To guarantee the remotion of NTBs, the top of docket policy shapers should take a firm stand that any dialogues on market entree are acceptable merely on a stipulation that all NTBs be removed under a fast path attack. This can be a powerful negotiating base of India in the on-going trade dialogues. In fact, the 4th ministerial conference of WTO held in Doha in November 2001 has already recognized that NTBs are an built-in and every bit of import portion of the dialogues.

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