Transparency matters: The largest Non-Tariff Measures database, UNCTAD


11 December 2017
Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center
Buenos Aires, Argentina

High level policy makers have an interactive discussion on non-tariff measures. The discussion shall contribute to the negotiations at MC11 and highlight the importance of trade-related regulations and transparency on NTMs. A report on a NTMs database and relevant statistics will be launched during the event.



The future work of the global transparency initiative on non-tariff measures coordinated by UNCTAD shall respond to the specific needs raised by the discussion. Furthermore, deliberations on impact assessment based on the TRAINS database can help addressing the complex effects of NTMs.

​​Key Issues:

  1. What kind of information is required by the developing countries’ private sector to overcome trade obstacles?
  2. How can it be ensured that regulatory policies contribute to economic, social and environmental objectives?
  3. How can policy makers and exporters benefit from UNCTAD’s NTMs database?
  4. What lessons can be learned from the analysis of the database?

Expected Outcome:

Guidance about the information needs of policy makers and exporters with respect to NTMs. Visibility of the largest NTMs database for the benefit of developing countries’ market access and good regulatory practices.


For further information:






The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.