Non-tariff barriers to trade

Non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs; also called non-tariff measures, NTMs) are trade barriers that restrict imports or exports of goods or services through mechanisms other than the simple imposition of tariffs.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) defines a non-tariff barrier as "any obstacle to international trade that is not an import or export duty. They may take the form of import quotas, subsidies, customs delays, technical barriers, or other systems preventing or impeding trade".[1] According to the World Trade Organization, non-tariff barriers to trade include import licensing, rules for valuation of goods at customs, pre-shipment inspections, rules of origin ('made in'), and trade prepared investment measures.[2] A 2019 UNCTAD report concluded that trade costs associated with non-tariff measures were more than double those of traditional tariffs.[3]