OECD Trade Policy Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected trade policy studies prepared for use within the OECD.

NB. No. 1 to No. 139 were released under the previous series title OECD Trade Policy Working Papers.


Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI): Transport and Courier Services

This paper presents the services trade restrictiveness indices (STRIs) for transport and courier services. The STRIs are composite indices taking values between zero and one, zero representing an open market and one a market completely closed to foreign services providers. The indices are calculated for 40 countries, the 34 OECD members and Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. This report presents the first vintage of indicators for transport and courier services and captures de jure regulations in force in 2013. The STRI supports the view that these services are subject to very different regulatory frameworks and, in some cases, to a relatively elevated degree of regulation. Indices for air transport covering measures affecting commercial establishment and accompanying movement of natural persons are on average quite high (0.43), with little variation across countries. A preliminary assessment of restrictiveness in cross-border trade in the sector shows that, while some progress in easing restrictions has been achieved through open skies agreements, significant limitations remain in place. The maritime transport sector is moderately open with an average STRI of 0.25. Foreign equity restrictions are still quite common in the sector and contribute significantly to the index. Most other sector-specific restrictions are found in the cabotage market and in ports. In road freight transport, the results confirm that the domestic road freight transport regime has been significantly liberalised over the years, and currently commercial establishment in the sector is largely affected by horizontal measures. The overall level of restrictiveness is relatively low with an average of 0.16, but exhibits pretty large variation. With respect to rail freight, the STRI also supports the view that considerable reforms have been undertaken in the sector in the past decades. The average level of restrictiveness is moderate at 0.22, although two countries maintain a statutory state-owned monopoly, which implies that the sector is completely closed to foreign suppliers. Finally, for courier services the results show that the overall level of restrictiveness is moderate with a sample average of 0.26. There is, however, large variation in STRI indices among countries. The elevated levels of restrictiveness are found in countries where foreign equity restrictions or statutory monopolies exist.


Keywords: services trade, courier services, regulation, transport services, services trade restrictions
JEL: L87: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Postal and Delivery Services; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; L93: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Air Transportation; L91: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Transportation: General; K33: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / International Law; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; L92: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error