28 - 29 September 2015
Room IV, Palais des Nations
Trade policy measures have shifted. The difference between trade policy, narrowly defined, and domestic regulations is increasingly blurred and the ability to gain market access depends increasingly on compliance with trade regulatory measures. Many NTMs such as SPS and TBT measures are also directly linked to the newly developed sustainable development goals. In an effort to strengthen the work on NTMs the Secretary-General of UNCTAD established the Group of Eminent Persons on Non-Tariff Measures and a Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST) was set up with the following objectives:
a) to provide a clear and concise definition of NTMs;
b) to develop a classification system of NTMs to facilitate data collection process and analysis;
c) to devise ways to collect efficiently the information on NTMs, taking into account existing mechanisms of collecting specific elements of NTMs by each member agency;
d) to provide guidelines for the use of data, including their quantification methodology.
The MAST is composed of the following organizations: FAO, IMF, ITC, OECD, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank and WTO. The work of MAST and the subsequent revision to the NTMs Classification were successful and it has now been widely accepted as the standard classification for NTMs by the international trade community, including regional and international organizations.
The expert meeting takes stock of what happened on issues related to the NTM classification and initiates a process to continuously oversee the NTMs classification so that it remains relevant for the needs of policy makers, researchers and businesses. Past experiences and future challenges will be discussed. The main objectives of the meeting are to:
• Discuss revisions of the NTM taxonomy in well-developed chapters where needed.
• Work on chapters that are currently not disaggregated.
• Share experience on data collection. Learn from researchers and policy makers what data they need. Get feedback from current users of our NTM database.
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