Guidelines for the Collection of Data on Official Non-Tariff Measures

2021 Version

Data collection on NTMs requires the classification of legal documents — regulations, directives, rules, and the like — to appropriate predefined NTM codes. These codes follow the International Classification of NTMs, which enables a comprehensive and comparable collection, analysis and dissemination of NTM data. A recurring problem for data collectors is that legal documents and regulations on NTMs are often based on legal and/or technical terms, which may render it difficult to univocally assign the most appropriate code. For data collectors, some interpretation is often required when classifying the measures described in the legal documents and regulations according to the predefined NTMs codes.

The purpose of the manual below is to provide guidelines to data collectors to harmonize the NTM data collection process and to minimize uncertainty during the process of categorization and classification. In doing so, the manual presents the logic behind the International Classification of NTMs, and it explains how to choose the most appropriate code.

This manual provides a large set of examples, and it is regularly updated to respond to queries and questions emerging during the data collection exercise.

This manual has been created with the intention of covering as many cases as possible. However, if uncertainties persist, data collectors are encouraged to submit their questions to, providing also a copy of the legal text and stating the proposed code.

Guidelines for the Collection of Data on Official Non-Tariff Measures - 2021 Version  (UNCTAD/DITC/TAB/2020/5)
12 Jan 2021