Classification of Non-Tariff Measures

The official definition of NTMs is broad: NTMs are 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. A detailed classification is therefore critical in order to clearly identify and distinguish among the various forms of NTMs.

The MAST group extensively discussed and field-tested the classification of NTMs between 2007 – 2012. It agreed upon the final version of this classification in 2012. That is why the current version is called the 2012 version. The classification is seen as evolving and should adapt to the reality of international trade and data collection needs.

The classification of NTMs follows a taxonomy of all measures considered relevant in today's international trade. It comprises technical measures, such as sanitary or environmental protection measures. Moreover, it also includes other measures traditionally used as instruments of commercial policy, e.g. quotas, price control, exports restrictions, or contingent trade protective measures. Finally, the MAST NTM classification also comprises behind-the-border measures, such as competition, trade-related investment measures, government procurement or distribution restrictions.

The classification does not judge on legitimacy, adequacy, necessity or discrimination of any form of policy intervention used in international trade. It acknowledges existence and is designed to organize information in a database format.

Classification of Non_tariff Measures
Classification of Non_tariff Measures - (2012 VERSION)


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