Navigating Non-Tariff Measures

Insights from a Business Survey in the European Union

image of Navigating Non-Tariff Measures

This work examines how non-tariff measures (NTMs) applied by the European Union’s major trading partners impacts EU exporters of goods—results are based on a survey of 8,100 companies from across 26 sectors in the EU’s 28 member states—describes the survey methodology; presents the main results obtained in terms of impact on EU companies, by type of NTM, effects on companies of different sizes, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; draws conclusions on the importance of the role of the EU’s negotiating agenda and implementation work to facilitate international trade. It includes survey data statistics and bibliographical references.



Executive summary

With the fall of tariffs in many markets around the world, especially in OECD countries, the focus of trade policymakers has gradually shifted to tackling unnecessary costs associated with non-tariff measures (NTMs). A large body of evidence suggests that NTMs have become relatively more important in trade policy. These measures are mostly non-discriminatory regulations aimed at preserving legitimate interests such as protection of security and health of consumers or the environment. Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are a subset of NTMs and are defined as measures that have a protectionist and discriminatory intent, for example when they are excessive, dissimilar and unjustifiably unrelated to equivalent measures elsewhere or simply poorly implemented.


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