The ability to gain and to benefit from market access opportunities depends increasingly on compliance with non-tariff measures (NTMs), such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical regulations and norms.
These measures represent a major challenge for exporters, importers and policymakers. Although many NTMs have primarily non-trade objectives, such as the protection of public health or the environment, they may affect trade and can unintentionally become discriminatory against smaller exporters and poorer countries.
It is therefore important for developing countries to understand the use of NTMs and their implications for the formulation and implementation of effective development strategies.
Comprehensive, systematic and reliable information about NTMs is scarce and difficult to obtain. UNCTAD coordinates the international effort to improve access and increase transparency with regard to NTMs, and trains experts globally to collect and classify information about these measures. The collection of NTM data is a very resource-intensive task and requires specific technical knowledge.
In this context, UNCTAD's Trade Information Section and Virtual Institute have developed an online training course that provides a comprehensive overview of the Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST) NTM classification and data collection approach. The course therefore constitutes a useful base of knowledge and skills for policymakers, researchers and trade practitioners working with NTMs.
Objective and target audience:
The objective of this hands-on technical course is to increase the understanding of the classification of non-tariff measures (NTMs) and the collection of NTM data. It targets two specialized audiences: Data collectors directly working with NTMs; Government officials, researchers, and representatives of the private sector who want to strengthen their understanding of NTMs, use NTM data, and/or who are or may be involved in the design or negotiation of policies related to NTMs.
Candidates must hold a Master’s Degree in Economics, Law, or International Relations. Applications may also be accepted from students enrolled in such programmes who hold a Bachelor's degree in one of these fields. Also required are: basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel, very good knowledge of English, and familiarity with government/ministry structures responsible for setting regulations.
Please note that in order to successfully complete course activities, participants should plan to dedicate at least 10 hours per week throughout the duration of the seven-week course.
The course is structured as follows:
- Module 1: Introduction to NTMs and data collection
- Module 2: Classification of NTMs
- Module 3: Product classification
- Module 4: Guidelines for the collection of data on official NTMs
- Module 5: Data classification and storage template
Grading and certificate:
In order to pass, participants must receive an average grade of 70 per cent in the quizzes at the end of each module. An "UNCTAD Certified Non-Tariff Measure Data Collector" certificate will be awarded to participants who have successfully completed the course. The top graduates of the online course will become part of the UNCTAD NTM consultancy roster, and may be considered for future data collection or related work.1