International Classification of Non-Tariff Measures 2019

image of International Classification of Non-Tariff Measures 2019

Non-tariff measures are generally defined as policy measures other than ordinary customs tariffs that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or both. Since this definition is broad, a detailed classification is of critical importance so as to better identify and distinguish among the various forms of non-tariff measures. The classification of non-tariff measures presented here is a taxonomy of all those measures considered relevant in international trade today. It builds on an old UNCTAD classification known as the Coding System of Trade Control Measures and was developed by several international organizations forming what is called the MAST group (Multi-Agency Support Team) set up to support the Group of Eminent Persons on Non-tariff Barriers established by the Secretary General of UNCTAD in 2006. The MAST team discussed and proposed this classification, and is composed of: FAO, IMF, ITC, OECD, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank and WTO. The classification is seen as evolving and should adapt to the reality of international trade and data collection needs.



Non-automatic import licensing, quotas, prohibitions, quantity-control measures and other restrictions not including phytosanitary measures or measures relating to technical barriers to trade

Control measures generally aimed at prohibiting or restricting imports, including measures restraining the quantity of goods that can be imported, regardless of whether they come from different sources or a specific supplier. These measures can take the form of non-automatic licensing, fixing of a predetermined quota or prohibitions. All measures introduced for sanitary and phytosanitary reasons and for reasons of technical barriers to trade are classified under chapters A and B above.


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