Non-Tariff Barriers

In addition to tariff barriers in the form of import duty and other taxes, non-tariff barriers (NTB) may also be imposed on trade in goods. Examples of NTBs include licensing, quotas, localization requirements, standards, foreign exchange controls, and other procedures and administrative requirements required to be fulfilled to be able to import, export and sell goods domestically within a certain country.  

As noted by the WTO in their publication titled “World Tariff Profiles” (published together with the ITC and UNCTAD), an annual publication that pulls together information on all tariff and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and customs territories, NTBs are becoming more and more relevant in their influence on global trade patterns as the reductions in tariff rates over several multilateral round negotiations have diminished the impact of tariffs.

In 2019 alone, WTO member countries around the world initiated 1,224 sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, 1,986 technical barriers to trade (TBT) measures and 271 trade remedy measures.  In Q2 of 2020 alone, countries around the world initiated 713 SPS measures, 977 TBT measures, and more than 10 trade remedy measures. 

There is empirical data to show an increasing trend in terms of the number of NTBs imposed by countries around the world.  In this regard, for new entrants into any domestic market, it is imperative to determine what the applicable NTBs are in order to be able to bring products to market within the country. 

At Deloitte, we are able to identify the NTBs applicable to your goods so that plans can be made ahead of time to obtain the requisite licensing, certification or other approvals as determined to be required. For existing entities subject to new NTBs, we can also see what opportunities are available to meet such NTBs.

For queries or assistance relating to non-tariff barriers, feel free to send us an email through the Get in Touch section below or via the online form on the link at the right.  

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Wong Meng Yew

Wong Meng Yew

Global Trade Advisory Leader, Deloitte SEA

Wong Meng Yew is a Partner in the Deloitte Singapore office and is the leader of the Global Trade Advisory practice in Southeast Asia (SEA). He regularly advises clients in navigating investments into... More