What are ”non-tariff steps ” ( NTMs ) ? As the term implies, any policy measures other than duties can be included in NTMs that can impact trade flows. At a wide degree, NTMs can appropriately be separated into three classs.

A first class of NTMs are those imposed on imports. This class includes import quotas, import prohibitions, import licensing, and imposts processs and disposal fees. A 2nd class of NTMs are those imposed on exports. These include export revenue enhancements, export subsidies, export quotas, export prohibitions, and voluntary export restraints. These first two classs encompass NTMs that are applied at the boundary line, either to imports or to exports. A 3rd and concluding class of NTMs are those imposed internally in the domestic economic system. Such behind-the-border steps include domestic statute law covering health/ technical/ product/ labor/ environmental criterions, internal revenue enhancements or charges, and domestic subsidies.

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers

There are many different division of non-tariff barriers. Some research workers divide between internal revenue enhancements, administrative barriers, wellness and healthful ordinances and authorities procurance policies. Others divide non-tariff barriers into more classs such as specific restrictions on trade, imposts and administrative entry processs, criterions, authorities engagement in trade, charges on import, and other classs.

The first class comprise of methods to straight import limitations for protection of certain sectors of national industries: licensing and allotment of import quotas, antidumping and offseting responsibilities, import sedimentations, alleged voluntary export restraints, offseting responsibilities, the system of minimal import monetary values, etc. Under 2nd class follow methods that are non straight aimed at curtailing foreign trade and more related to the administrative bureaucratism, whose actions, nevertheless, restrict trade, for illustration: imposts processs, proficient criterions and norms, healthful and veterinary criterions, demands for labeling and packaging, bottling, etc. The 3rd class consists of methods that are non straight aimed at curtailing the import or advancing the export, but the effects of which frequently lead to this consequence.

The non-tariff barriers can dwell of broad assortment of limitations to merchandise. Here are some illustrations of the popular NTBs.


Licenses and quotas are the most common instruments of direct ordinance of imports ( and sometimes export ) . About all industrialised states apply these non-tariff methods. The demand for the licence system is that a province ( through specially authorized office ) issues licenses for foreign trade minutess of import and export trade goods included in the lists of accredited wares. Merchandise licensing can take many signifiers and processs. The chief types of licences are general licence that permits unrestricted importing or exportation of goods included in the lists for a certain period of clip ; and erstwhile licence for a certain merchandise importer ( exporter ) to import ( or export ) . Erstwhile licence indicates a measure of goods, its cost, its state of beginning ( or finish ) , and in some instances besides customs point through which import ( or export ) of goods should be carried out. Using the licensing systems as an instrument for foreign trade ordinance is bases on a figure of international degree criterions understandings. In peculiar, these understandings include some commissariats of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures, concluded under the GATT ( GATT ) .


Licensing of foreign trade is closely related to quantitative limitations – quotas – on imports and exports of certain goods. A quota is a restraint in value or in physical footings, imposed on import and export of certain goods for a certain period of clip. This class includes planetary quotas in regard to unambiguous states, seasonal quotas, and alleged “ voluntary ” export restraints. Quantitative controls on foreign trade minutess carried out through erstwhile licence.

Quantitative limitation on imports and exports is a direct administrative type of authorities ordinance of foreign trade. Licenses and quotas restrict the independency of endeavors with a respect to come ining foreign markets, contracting the scope of states, which may be entered into dealing for certain trade goods, modulate the figure and scope of goods permitted for import and export. However, the system of licensing and quota imports and exports, set uping house control over foreign trade in certain goods, in many instances, the system of licensing and quota imports and exports, set uping house control over foreign trade in certain goods, turns out to be more lissome and of usage than economic instruments of foreign trade ordinance. This can be explained by the fact, that licensing and quota systems are an cardinal instrument of trade ordinance of the greater portion of the universe.

The result of this trade barrier is usually reflected in the consumers ‘ loss because of higher monetary values and limited choice of goods every bit good as in the companies that employ the imported stuffs in the production procedure, increasing their costs. An import quota can be one-sided, levied by the state without dialogues with exporting state, and bilateral or many-sided, when it is imposed after dialogues and understanding with exporting state. An export quota is a restricted sum of goods that can go forth the state. There are different grounds for imposing of export quota by the state, which can be the confidence of the supply of the merchandises that are in deficit in the domestic market, use of the monetary values on the international degree, and the control of goods strategically of import for the state. In some instances, the importation states request exporting states to implement voluntary export restraints.


Embargo is a specific type of quotas excluding the trade. Equally good as quotas, trade stoppages may be imposed on imports or exports of peculiar goods, non sing the finish, in regard of certain goods supplied to specific states, or in regard of all goods shipped to certain states. While the trade stoppage is on a regular basis introduced for political intents, the effects, in kernel, could be economic.


Standards obtain a peculiar topographic point among non-tariff barriers. Countries normally impose criterions on categorization, labeling and proving of merchandises in order to be able to sell domestic merchandises, but besides to barricade gross revenues of merchandises of foreign industry. These criterions are from clip to clip entered under the artifice of protecting the safety and wellness of local populations.

Administrative and bureaucratic holds at the entryway

Among the methods of non-tariff ordinance should be mentioned administrative and bureaucratic holds at the entryway, which add to uncertainness and the cost of keeping stock list.

Import sedimentations

Another illustration of foreign trade ordinances is import sedimentations. Import deposits is a type of sedimentation, which the importer must pay the bank for a definite period of clip ( non-interest bearing sedimentation ) in an sum equal to all or portion of the cost of imported goods.

At the national degree, administrative ordinance of capital motions is carried out chiefly within a model of bilateral understandings, which include a clear definition of the legal government, the process for the admittance of investings and investors. It is determined by manner ( just and just, national, most-favored-nation ) , order of nationalisation and compensation, reassign net incomes and capital repatriation and difference declaration.

Foreign exchange limitations and foreignA exchange controls

Foreign exchange limitations and foreign exchange controls occupy a exceeding topographic point among the non-tariff regulative instruments of foreign economic activity. Foreign exchange limitations compose of the ordinance of minutess of occupants and nonresidents with currency and other currency values. Besides an of import portion of the mechanism of control of foreign economic activity is the initiation of the national currency next to foreign currencies.


Effectss on trade

It is by and large assumed that NTMs have negative consequence on trade, even if it has been elusive for quantitative appraisal. Sometimes, these policy steps are referred to as barriers, when the accent is made on the troubles an exporter may hold to follow with them. In fact, NTMs can impede exports for states or companies when they are non able to pay the cost of accommodating their merchandise or production procedure to the norm of a trade spouse. Then, another less competitory exporter may be able to take on a restrictive market if it complies with that ordinance. NTMs would be trade falsifying in this instance.

However, NTMs may besides ease trade when they cut down dissymmetries in information between consumers and manufacturers, for illustration about the quality or safety of the merchandise. The attempt of following with NTMS could besides assist states to upgrade capacities, ( or extenuating institutional lacks for monitoring and enforcing ordinances, in words of new wave Tongeren, Begin, Marette, 2009 ) in which instance the ultimate development impact is positive for the exporting state. On the importing state ‘s side, NTMs could cut down negative outwardnesss, for illustration in the instance of environmental menace or nutrient safety.

Effectss on Monetary value

A quota is defined as an upper bound on the figure of units of a trade good that can be imported into a state. When such a limitation is imposed, domestic consumers are prevented from purchasing an imported good, the supply of which is no longer absolutely elastic as it would hold been in a free trade state of affairs ensuing in a rise in the monetary value of the merchandise. This can be better explained utilizing a demand and supply diagram as follows:

In a state of affairs where there is free trade and no barriers to merchandise are imposed so at the universe monetary value of “ wp ” domestic manufacturers will provide Q1 and Q1-Q2 will be imported, i.e, equilibrium measure will be at Q1. The supply curve to the domestic market will be denoted by the curve “ ABws ” . The consequence of enforcing a quota will be to restrict the sum of imported goods. Let us say that the quota cut imports from Q1-Q2 to Q1-Q3. A new supply curve can now be drawn integrating the sum of the quota ( Q1-Q3 ) . The universe monetary value “ wp ” no longer acts as the supply curve but alternatively the latter is represented by the curve “ ABCSS ” . we can nothe that the new equilibrium will be at “ E ” and the new equilibrium monetary value will be at “ pq ” . It is clear that monetary value has risen from the execution of quota. This is explained by the fact that the supply of the trade good is now restricted doing a little addition in the monetary value of the trade good. The extent of the addition will depend on the quota imposed. The lower the quota, the higher will be the monetary value.

A simple illustration can be taken to explicate the above theory. Suppose you have milk imported freely into a state and history for 50 % of the domestic demand. If authorities imposes a quota on the sum that can be imported, the supply of milk will fall giving rise to a deficit. This deficit will exercise force per unit area on monetary value which will eventually lift to extinguish that deficit and reconstruct the equilibrium.

Effectss on society

Another step is embargo. This is a complete prohibition on imported merchandise. Such a step can be imposed to protect the society as whole. For illustration, a state may censor or badly restrict the importing of things such as harmful drugs, adult literature and unrecorded animate beings. Had embargoes non imposed on such merchandises, society would endure tremendous harm as they have high degree of negative outwardnesss

Effectss on transnational

Import quotas by and large have a negative impact on transnational companies. These endeavors such as Nike and General Motors are intensively engaged in international trade as domestic ingestion merely can non run into their high marks. When a quota is imposed on their goods by a major purchaser, MNCs must happen other markets to provide their merchandises, otherwise they will hold to cut production and net incomes figure will endure.

Effectss on employment

However, import quotas affect positively domestic employment. The autumn in imports will deviate demand to local providers and the latter will hold to increase production to cover the spread which foreign merchandises used to busy. This applies to domestic supplies that have the capablenesss and were unable to vie internationally. In order to hike production, they will hold to enroll more people. This will hold a multiplier consequence in the economic system giving rise a lower unemployment rate and higher economic growing.

How globalization is impacting NTMs?

Globalization is a procedure by which states are linked wholly in a peaceable mode as position to merely one planet. In proficient footings, it is described as being a procedure by which national and regional economic systems, societies and civilizations have all been united via planetary web of trade, communicating, in-migration and transit. Hence a world-wide motion towards economic, fiscal, trade and communications integrating. Recently, globalisation expanded its field to other activities such as societal countries. At present, globalisation besides considers civilization, media, engineering, socio-cultural, political and biological factors.

The evolving nature of NTMS has gained an of import topographic point in international trade today. More late, it has been considered in the one-year World Trade Report of 2012. Most trade understandings clearly speaks of duty decreases whereby go forthing less than halfway entryway for NTMs. It has however the capacity to cut down the effectivity of duty decreases upon understanding. NTMs have of all time since in its introductory manner been driven by multiple policy motivations and are still capable to alter. These policies in themselves have evolved through the old ages as states forged understandings and became mutualist through globalisation.

NTMs has become a necessity non merely to protect domestic industries but to the globalized universe as a whole. Globalisation raised alterations in states among which are increased societal consciousness, turning concerns sing wellness, safety and environmental quality which led to increase in NTMs. For the better apprehension of the impact of globalisation on NTMs, trade in goods and services were considered. Examples of regulative steps are Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary steps in goods and ordinances in services which have late cropped up. These steps do non hold a direct influence on trade but have a strong influence on trade understandings and sum of trade between states. Some say that NTMs have been encouraged via globalisation for a feasible peace. Public policy can therefore heighten trade flows in a positive or even negative manner. Trade in services has evolved in recent old ages and is no longer similar to traditional trade. New policies came into force to manage these new tendencies. Globalisation relates to WTO. Trade in services has the comparatively same importance as trade in goods for good webs between states. The WTO knows they hold the same weight in international production personal businesss and hence steps to curtail trade and competition in the services market that could impact more than the sector straight concerned. Examples where instances are most suited are infrastructural services, spill-over effects on other services and goods.

Unlike in the yesteryear when NTMS function were entirely to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition, presents NTMs are more to make with public policy aims. These policies non merely see protectionism but besides take safeguard steps. In the sector of wellness and environmental services, NTMS were late boosted in Numberss.

NTMS were found non to be an easy undertaking to be observed and quantified, nevertheless with globalisation, WTO observes that NTMS are meant to hold a long stay with their several agreements between states which adds to the chief understandings.

The emerging in alteration of NTMs with clip is non protected against negative effects. NTMs may in other words cut down benefits gained from the chief understanding, for illustration negate some duty decreases. Furthermore, non-tariffs steps have a long list of steps which are besides hard to quantify and besides sometimes are unseeable in the understandings. In add-on to that, those steps are non regular to all states that it is served and to that, their consequence sometimes bring deformations in understandings between sectors and states.

Globalization is known to hold brought alterations or complete alteration in more than one state construction and hereafter. It has greatly changed policies of states and to that NTMs continue to be evaluated and are still spread outing.

Quoting from the WTO Director General: “ Regulatory intercessions turn toing market failures and international spillovers, with inevitable effects for trade flows and investings are here to remain. ”

The foremost idea, hence, of NTMs is that it will non hold a decreasing or cut downing consequence on the duties understandings between states.

As deducted from above, globalisation does non merely conveying positive consequences onto a state trade flow. As globalisation strengthens confederations amongst states, NTMs continue to be on the rise in their agreements. NTMs may besides be used as a tool to curtail trade flows in the instance of where some states might be oligopolies of certain trade goods on the planetary market.

Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary steps is said to be the beginning of last resort for some development states since it impacts the worst consequences on them. The ground is that these states may be otherwise structured and may non be able to run into those standards mentioned in the steps.

Though, globalisation escalate the relationship between states does convey both good and bad consequences, harmonious programs between states may assist to cut down the negatives effects. Globalisation has neared most of states and accordingly has brought aid where such steps were non easy identified. In simple footings, it has allowed experiences to be shared in acknowledgment and quantitation.

In the visible radiation of the above, globalisation non merely brought amendments in NTMs but besides has greatly influenced its usage in states.

NTMs Measurement

Measuring non-tariff barriers remained one of the confusing answered inquiries for a long clip plenty. This is chiefly because of their incompatibility in states where they are applied. As these by themselves can non be measured, their associations are quantified to give a consequence as the measuring of NTMs as a whole. Typologies of the associations are: frequence steps, price-change steps, measure steps, rates of aid, and indices deflators.

A brief treatment of these steps is now to be listed and considered below.

Frequency steps

Laird & A ; Yeats ( 1990 ) exposed two frequence steps, viz. , frequence ratio and import coverage ratio. Both of them are based on computation of ratio of trade good lines capable to at least one NTM in entire figure of lines for the several group of trade flows. The frequence ratio can be calculated by expression:

where Ni is category I of trade good in trade group ; Di is dummy variable, Nt is general figure of classs in trade group, i.e. i = 1, … , T. Dummy variable is used as index of NTM: where Di = 1, in good in class I is capable to at least one NTM ; otherwise Di = 0.

In import coverage ratio, value of imports of trade goods subject to at least one NTM is used as a weight alternatively, unlike the frequence ratio. That manner, clip factor is considered and it besides helps to measure the importance of the NTM for the whole trade.

B. Price-change steps

NTMs frequently influence monetary value and cause alteration. Under this subdivision, a measuring on rating of alterations in monetary value due to the debut of NTMs is considered. Unlike other steps, it allows direct comparing between impact of duty and non-tariff trade barriers. Price-change steps are normally used in international trade theory and a expression was derived ; influence of trade limitations in footings of monetary value and measure alterations. Deardorff & A ; Stern ( 1997 ) used the most known type of price-change steps which is tariff equivalent. In other words, it is calculated as growing in trade good monetary value before and after usage of NTMs. Despite all its positive features, monetary value alteration as a exclusive index for NTMs of a state is non sufficient. Furthermore, the impact of NTMs on alteration on monetary value is hard to be taken out of any factors impacting monetary values.

C. Ratess of aid

Ratess of aid can be broken down into two types ; nominal and effectual rate of aid. Nominal rate of aid is founded on computation of a rise in the gross returns from production ensuing from protective steps. The effectual rate of aid is the most normally used and can be calculated as follows ;


where VAN is value added in instance when the NTM are applied, and VAB is value added under free trade.

These steps fit theories absolutely, however have drawbacks as it requires aggregate information that is non ever available. The effectual rate of aid is faced with another job which is to distinguish between the different NTMs in its computation.

D. Indices – deflators

Anderson and Neary were the first 1s who brought the application of trade barriers to both duties and non-tariffs steps. They constructed two indices ; mercantilist trade restrictiveness index and trade restrictiveness index. These are defined as deflators and when applied to undistorted monetary values are to bring forth the same trade volume ( mercantilist index ) or same existent income ( for trade restrictiveness index ) as the initial set of trade deformations ( Anderson & A ; Neary, 1996 ; Anderson & A ; Neary, 1999 ) . Application of this method, nevertheless, outputs job of aggregation of necessary monetary values and distinction of the impact of NTM from other alterations.

To sum up all steps are good plenty for measuring of general NTMs degree in a state. However, standards, benefits and drawbacks of the different methods must be cared when taking for specific states.


GATT takes on a peculiar and modest attack to managing NTMs. That attack developed over clip, and with the formation of the WTO, the handling of NTMs evolved further still. A Tariffs for goods production were decreased during the eight unit of ammunitions of dialogues in the WTO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT ) . After cut downing of duties, the rule ofA protectionismA demanded the debut of new NTMs such as proficient barriers to merchandise ( TBT ) .

Increasing consumer demand for secure and environment friendly merchandises besides have had their impact on increasing popularity of TBT. Many NTMs are administered by WTO understandings, which originated in the Uruguay Round, every bit good as GATT articles. NTMs in the field of services have become every bit important as in the field of usual trade. The demand to protect sensitive to import industries, every bit good as a broad scope of trade limitations, available to the authoritiess of industrialised states, coercing them to fall back to utilize the NTM, and seting serious obstructions to international trade and universe economic growing. Thus, NTMs can be referred as a new of protection which has replaced duties as an old signifier of protection.