WTO publishes 2021 World Tariff Profiles guide

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The latest edition of the World Tariff Profiles has been published, with a particular focus this year on NTMs.


This year's edition of the World Tariff Profiles guide has been published by the World Trade Organization (WTO), offering vital data on the trade restrictions imposed by countries and customs territories around the world.

A joint publication compiled in partnership with the International Trade Centre and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the document offers comprehensive information on tariffs and other measures imposed by authorities, using the latest available tariff data.

As well as the 164 members of the WTO, information is also included on other territories where available, making for a total of over 170 countries and trade destinations.

The 2021 edition also includes a special focus on non-tariff measures (NTMs) that may affect trade, such as quotas, rules of origin, embargos and licenses. 

It was noted by the report: "Data on NTMs are a vital complement to tariff data as NTMs can be as important as tariffs in determining market access."

However, it also observed these barriers can be difficult to quantify as they often do not have simple numerical values, instead becoming visible through "legislation regulating
conditions for the import or export of specific products, processing methods for these products or other factors".

Overall, the report found that almost 60 percent of imported products need to comply with at least one NTM, while in terms of trade value, almost 80 percent of imported goods are subject to NTMs.

The sectors most likely to attract NTMs include animal, vegetable and food products, with most products in these categories subject to at least one specific regulation, and the average item having to pass 12 NTM barriers.

"Chemicals, textiles, vehicles, machinery and leather are also highly regulated sectors," the report noted. "A total of around 60 percent of these products, representing 80 percent of the imports in these sectors, need to comply with two to three NTMs."