EFS Consulting

10% growth of technical barriers to trade worldwide

According to the WTO data, the number of technical barriers to trade is growing 

If you have thought that worldwide technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are being reduced and safety standards for products are getting more and more harmonized, the contrary seems to be the case.  According to the data of the World Trade Organization, the number of technical barriers to trade in 2019 grew by almost 10% compared to 2018 (also in the previous years, the trend was rising). 

The calculation is based on the number of TBT notifications that countries are obliged to submit to the online ePings portal (https://www.epingalert.org/en) as per the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade of 1994.  This international agreement, whose signatories are almost all countries of the world (with some exceptions such as Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Iran, Serbia or Sudan), requires them to inform other members and interested parties about “any technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures adopted or proposed within its territory”. 

The total number of notifications in 2019 amounted to 3337.  This is impressive if you compare it to 1893 notifications 10 years earlier and 697 notifications 20 years earlier.   

In terms of regional distribution, Europe provided for only 7,6% of notifications last year, North America 8%, while Asia and Latin America provided for 20% each.  However, the unquestionable leader was Africa with 32,8% of the total number. 

The most active notifying members in 2019 were: Uganda (442 notifications), Ecuador (331), USA (270), Brazil (200) and Kenya (194).  Whereas the presence of the USA and Brazil on the top 5 list is understandable, Uganda, Ecuador and Kenya can be considered a surprise. 

But does this data really mean that Uganda was the most protected market of the world in 2019?  What is behind these numbers and how to understand them correctly?  Follow our EFS Product Compliance website or Linkedin channel to find out! 

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