Second Vanuatu national MSG Green Trade Project and Joint IMPACT-SAFE workshop on non-tariff measures (NTMs) and International Trade Promotion

08 - 09 June 2023
Melanesian Hotel
Port Vila
, Vanuatu

The second Vanuatu national Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Green Trade Project and joint IMPACT-SAFE* workshop took place on 8 and 9 June 2023 from 9:00am – 4:30pm at the Melanesian Hotel in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

A broad spectrum of participants attended, ranging from government officials to private sector representatives. Participants included producers and exporters of coconut oil and other agricultural commodities. The first day of the workshop focused on reviewing and validating the progress made over the past year under the MSG Green Trade Project. Highlights of the day included the updated voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) assessment report on virgin coconut oil (VCO), and the unveiling of the Vanuatu VCO export guide. Day one culminated with UNCTAD presenting policy recommendations connected to its work on VSS and non-tariff measures (NTM).

On the second day, the focus shifted to the NTM data collection carried out under the MSG Green Trade Project and its ongoing continuity under IMPACT. The Pacific Community (SPC), a co-organizer, detailed SAFE’s contributions towards supporting commodity exports, particularly regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) in the European Union and region-wide.

Throughout this interactive workshop, participants made comments and suggestions on the work presented. It also offered an avenue to all the stakeholders to discuss and debate about the challenges of exporting, and in particular the difficulty to comply with NTMs and find information about them.

Participants particularly raised the need to have a better access to information, to support their trade. Against this backdrop, the importance of having access to tools such as UNCTAD TRAINS NTM data base was underlined, as well as developing comprehensive guides such as the presented export guide, for other commodities.

Summarized outcomes:

  • MSG Green Trade Project: Participants endorsed the two reports presented by UNCTAD, recognized the NTM data collected for potential uploading to the NTM TRAINS database, and requested that policy recommendations be compiled into a detailed table, overseen by the National Trade Facilitation Steering Committee for implementation. Additionally, there was a request for the translation of the Export Guide into Bislama.
  • IMPACT / SAFE: Participants recognized the activities planned under these two European Union-funded projects and committed to support their implementation, promising to liaise with the implementation partners for specific areas of support.

Next steps:

  • MSG Green Trade Project: The national activities will be finalized, before proceeding to the regional activity phase of the project.
  • IMPACT / SAFE: The current planned workflow will be pursued.

To know more about NTM and VSS:


*IMPACT stands for “Improving Pacific Island Customs and Trade” and SAFE for “Safe Agriculture trade Facilitation through Economic integration in the Pacific”. Both projects are funded by the European Union.

08 Jun 2023
Vanuatu Department of External Trade; Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat; Pacific Community
Sponsor / funding:
United Nations Development Account / European Union

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