TRAINS

The global database on Non-Tariff Measures

Through

Developed by WTO
Adapted for TRAINS data by UNCTAD

  

 

TRAINS: Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) based on official regulations

A. TYPE OF MEASURES AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION INCLUDED: The I-TIP application is an umbrella system, searching over several databases called silos. The classification of type of measures is shown under the silo-level in two alternative ways: the interagency NTM classification, developed with UNCTAD, ITC, and the World Bank, and the WTO-GATT articles from which the notification obligation has its origin. Currently, the following non-tariff measures databases (silos) have been incorporated:
1. Anti-dumping duties (ADDB application),
2. Countervailing duties (CVDB application),
3. Safeguards measures (SGDB application),
4. Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT-IMS application),
5. Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS-IMS application), and
6. State Trading Enterprises.
7. Special Safeguard (SSG), measure from the Agreement on Agriculture, taken from AGIMS application (http://agims.wto.org).
8. Tariff-rate Quotas (TRQ), measure from the Agreement on Agriculture, taken from AGIMS application (http://agims.wto.org).
9. Export subsidies: measure from the Agreement on Agriculture, taken from AGIMS application (http://agims.wto.org).
10. Quantitative Restrictions, measure taken from the application http://qr.wto.org
11. Import Licences, coming soon, will be taken from the application ILDB

B. MEASURES VS. NOTIFICATIONS: This web application searches and counts measures over databases based on mandatory notifications to WTO (information on notifications is found on CRN-DOL, http://docsonline.wto.org). The same measure can be notified through several notifications, or several measures can be notified in only one notification. Within each silo, this application counts each measure only once, irrespective of whether it has been referenced in one or several WTO notification documents. In contrast, a measure appearing in more than one silo may be counted twice.

C. WTO-INTERPRETED DATA: In this application, the measure, the imposing member, and the initiation or in-force date are required information gathered from notification documents; product information (HS or free text), affected countries, and other date information are not necessarily provided across all notifications. The Secretariat provides complementary information, wherever appropriate and meaningful, to assist in the interpretation of the notifications. Any supplementary information has been clearly identified as "WTO-interpreted" data and is shown in the results screen in italics. See below how to obtain specific information for each silo.

D. SOURCES BY SILO:
1. ANTIDUMPING (ADP): Antidumping measures have been sourced from the semi-annual ADP reports, as recorded in WTO-ADDB system. I-TIP covers all measures since December 2000; therefore, the information currently accessible covers all definitive measures in force as of the end of that period as well as all those initiated, put into force or withdrawn thereafter but does not cover measures terminated before December 2000.
2. Countervailing measures have been sourced from the semi-annual reports under article 16.4 of the agreement, starting with the July-December 2000 report; therefore, the information currently accessible covers all definitive measures in force as of the end of that period and thereafter but does not cover measures that ended before that period.
3. SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES (SPS): Data have been sourced mainly from regular SPS notifications, as reflected in the SPS-IMS online system. Specific Trade Concerns (STC) information (see following paragraphs) is used as a complementary source of information.
4. TECHNICAL BARRIERS TO TRADE (TBT): Data have been sourced from regular TBT notifications as reflected in the TBT-IMS, (TBT Information Management System). The measures reflected in I-TIP are those notified under Articles 10.6 and 10.7 of the TBT agreement. Specific Trade Concerns (STC) information (see next paragraph) is used as a complementary source of information.
5. SPECIFIC TRADE CONCERNS - STCs (FOR TBT AND SPS MEASURES): A bare list of SPS and TBT notifications is not a good indicator of the existence of non-tariff barriers. First, because some members may choose to notify only those measures which do not follow international standards or only those having trade effects, while some other members notify all measures. Second, because the simple number of measures is not a good indicator: most of TBT/SPS measures are normally, and should be, transparent to trade, thus, the sighting of many measures might not represent a protectionist signal, but rather quite the contrary, an effort for more transparency. Third, because both agreements respond to the need of commenting before the entry into force of a new measure from other members; therefore, SPS and TBT agreements did not seek to maintain a reliable stock on measures in force (although members have been increasingly notifying the entry into force on voluntary basis). In search of a better indicator of TBT and SPS impact, a complementary source of information is used in I-TIP: Specific Trade Concerns (STC) raised by members. In these STCs, members make complaints about measures taken by other members. Those concerns are recorded by the Secretariat in the minutes of the meetings. STCs may also be raised on non-notified measures.
6. SAFEGUARDS (SG): Data is sourced from regular SG notifications, as per WTO - Safeguards database, and is updated continuously.
7. Measures from the Agreement on Agriculture: The application AGIMS (http://agims.wto.org) is the source of the three types of NTM in the field of agriculture: Special Safeguard (SSG), tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) and Export Subsidies (XS). These notifications are annual and cover the calendar year. Notification is due along the year following its application, but some members make late notifications. Therefore, the last period should be treated carefully, as even for periods of three or four yeas after the is not possible to distinguish the delay from the no-notification.
8. Quantitative Restrictions Quantitative Restrictions, measure taken from the application http://qr.wto.org. Its information covers the notifications made under the new format.
9. STATE TRADING ENTERPRISES (STE): Information is taken from members' notifications, as per the official documents available in the WTO-DOL (documents online system). The information available in the latest member's notification is shown. Please note that some members have not kept up with their regular bi-annual notifications and in these cases the information provided may not be up-to-date.

E. OTHER SOURCES (THROUGH LINKS):
1. LINK WITH TARIFFS AND TRADE: Tariffs and trade come from TAO (Tariff Analysis Online), an application covering IDB - Integrated Data Base and CTS - Consolidated Tariff Schedules databases. The link leads to the reporting country; data for the last year available is shown, among other time-options. Antidumping product coverage is normally narrower than the HS codes provided because only specific firms producing the product are affected.
2. LINK WITH DOL: The notification documents are taken from the CRN - Central Registry of Notifications facility, via the documents online (DOL or DocsOnLine) application. The information about the document from which the information is sourced is shown in the link to DOL. While in TBT and SPS cases finding the source of the information is straightforward, the same is not true for most of the other measures, for which the annual, bi-annual or semi-annual report will be shown, containing all measures for one country; therefore, the user has to search within the document in order to find the exact reference to the information shown in I-TIP.

F. VARIABLES
1. COUNTRY IMPOSING THE MEASURE: Only WTO members are listed as reporters, because our sources are notifications to the WTO by member countries.
2. PARTNER AFFECTED BY THE MEASURE ALL SILOS: When the affected country has not been explicitly specified, the application assumes that the measure affects all countries. The user can exclude the measures taken on MFN basis (by default, they are included) by unmarking the option "include the category All partners". This may be relevant if one wants, for example, to single out SPS or TBT measures that are not MFN in nature. Please note that by unmarking the option "include the category All Members" all MFN measures will disappear.
3. DATES
a. FEATURES APPLYING TO ALL TYPES OF DATES: Dates in this application are differentiated by phases and by "approach". The detailed query facility allows the selection of phase and approach options in any combination. Any measure is shown and exported with three dates; in the detailed Excel file, each line represents one measure, with three columns for dates.
(1) PHASES: Along the I-TIP application, three dates have been defined for each measure. A standadized definition can be used for in-force and termination dates. In WTO, some measures have the particular feature of being known before they are put into force. This prior date is, in trade defence measures, the initiation of the investigation. In technical measures, members must notify measures they are preparing a semester before they are put into force; the notification date is used as the prior date for SPS and TBT measures. Agricultural measures can be activated only on products signalled in the consolidated lists; therefore the date of accession or the entry into force of the Agreement of Agriculture date is used here as prior date. Other kind of measures lack the prior date. Those dates define two phases: initiation/preparation (if applicable) and in-force.
(a) Prior phase: it starts when the measure is known by other members, while it is still not in force. In technical measures (SPS, TBT) it is the phase of preparation of the measure; in trade defense measures (AD, CV, SG), it is the phase of investigation and preliminary measures. It works as activable measures for Agricultural measures (SSG, XS, TRQ).
(b) IN FORCE: interval when the measure is in force. In the first years of SPS and TBT notifications, very few notifications were received about in-force dates. Although this information is bettter in recent years, there are still many members who do not notify the put into force of measures in these fields. The user can correct this bias using the "measures in-force to be confirmed", because most of those measures has been put into force after 180 days of the notification (if no comments were raised).
(c) TERMINATION: The period starts when the measure is withdrawn. Note: I-TIP has not yet received any information on withdrawals for TBT and SPS measures. Therefore, the lists produced by I-TIP may contain TBT and SPS measures that have been withdrawn.
(2) APPROACHES:
(a) FLOW APPROACH: measures taken during a selected period. In the flow approach three actions can be distinguished: initiation, entry into force, and withdrawal. Queries can be on one or more of any of these actions in a selected period.
(b) STOCK APPROACH: measures initiated or in force at a selected date. Queries can be on one or both of these actions at a selected point in time.
(3) COMPLETENESS OF MEASURES SHOWN IN I-TIP: The main difference between flow and stock approaches should be the measures revoked (explicitly, or implicitly by other measure). However, given the incompleteness of notifications, in particular in the case of SPS and TBT, measures actually revoked may not be shown as terminated.
(a) The main difference between flow and stock approaches should be the measures revoked (explicitly, or implicitly by other measure). In SPS and TBT, measures actually revoked may not be shown as terminated, given the incompleteness of notifications. In trad
(b) Valid initiation and in-force dates by approach: In the stock approach, each measure is wheter in preparation (initiated) or in force; measures withdrawn are not shown. In the flow approach, each measure may have three dates, and each one is shown; theref
(c) Phases and approaches in the exported file: each measure's information is within one row; the dates available to the measure are in the three respective columns. The user can build any phases/approaches with them (of course, complete information shall exi
(4) SOFT DATES: the application allows soft dates, i.e., dates that are not specific but soft-defined periods, such as "last quarter of the year", etc.
b. FEATURES OF INITIATION DATE BY SILO
(1) ADP AND CV: Investigation's initiation date, in "Original investigation" table.
(2) TBT AND SPS: Notification date (document distribution to members).
(3) Measures from the Agreement on Agriculture: Agreement's date or accession's date settles the universe of potential measures.
(4) Licences, Quantitative Restrictions and State Trading Enterprises: it is not possible to define a prior date or a preparation period in those cases.
c. FEATURES OF IN-FORCE DATE BY SILO
(1) ADP and CV: Date of final measures, in "Original investigation" table or date of imposition in "Measures in force" table. The imposition of provisional mesures is ignored, as its effects are contingent to the investigation's final results.
(2) TBT and SPS in-force dates: Entry-into-force notifications are not required by TBT and SPS agreements, although members have increasingly notified WTO about entry into force. WARNING! Time series made over in-force dates in SPS and TBT are biased by the increasing trend of entry-into-force notifications; time series in these areas should be built over initiation date. Other option is to build a "in-force date to be confirmed" variable, using the fact that most of TBT and SPS measures notified to WTO have been put into force 180 days after its notification (if no observations have been made on the measures by other members).
(3) In SPS the emergency procedure allows a notification of an emergency measure after it is in force; therefore, its initiation date (notification date) occurs after its in-force date.
(4) Measures from the Agreement on Agriculture: The countries notify the activation of measures each year, and the application period is one calendar year, except for the European Union, where the notification covers the year from July to June. Notification is due along the year following its application, but some members make late notifications. Therefore, the last period should be treated carefully, as even for periods of three or four yeas after the is not possible to distinguish the delay from the no-notification.
(5) Licences, Quantitative Restrictions: When in the annual notification the in-force date of the measure is not stated, the date of the notification is used.
d. WITHDRAWAL
(1) ADP AND CV: Date of termination in "Termination of measures" table.
(2) TBT AND SPS: Currently, there is no notification on withdrawals.
4. PRODUCTS:
a. ALL SILOS:
(1) Two independent ways of product selection may be used. The first is through the use of the product description provided by the member, and the second is through the use of the Harmonized System (HS), over its HS code or over its HS description. The two ways may be seen as complementary in terms of of getting the same information: missing information in one way can often be found through the other.
(2) I-TIP queries by-products find exactly the same code requested, and codes notified with broader or narrower coverage. Any measure affecting the code is shown in the output. In contrast, the categories "All products" and "No HS code" do not appear if a selection of products has been made. These two broader categories appear only if no selection has been made in the product screen ("Any"). Therefore, when analysing the I-TIP data by products, it is recommendable to look first at these lines in the table by products in order to know if a very small number of measures resulting from some query on some specific item may be caused by notification problems. Search simultaneously (OR) over the description of the product provided in the notification, and over the notified HS code help in reducing this problem.
(3) The HS classification used here includes all codes valid in any of the current or earlier HS versions. The green/red blocks after the description show in which HS version a code is valid (green) or no longer valid (red), in this way taking into account changes in the nomenclature.
(4) In the detailed query, HS items may be selected at Section, Chapter (first 2 digits), Heading (first 4 digits), or Subheading (first 6 digits). In the by-product table the user can drill down only to chapters .
(5) The measures without HS codes will not appear in the results if you have specified any HS codes. Note also that in the product description submitted by the member (or in its translation) may not appear the term that has been used in the free text search, thus, the record will not be shown. Both problems are minimized by complementing the text search with a search by HS Codes.
b. ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING:
(1) Most products affected by ADP measures are now classified at the HS 6-digit level. However, in older notifications only the HS Section level was incorporated into the database; in those cases, no HS detail is given in I-TIP because it would have been too broad as product categories. We plan to provide WTO-interpreted HS information in the near future.
(2) It should be kept in mind that ADP and CV measures apply at firm level and may affect only some products within the product description provided.
c. TBT AND SPS: Many products are notified in the International Classification for Standards (ICS) system. In order to allow a more complete search over HS codes, an HS to ICS correlation table was used to convert product information from ICS to HS. If product information is obtained through this procedure, it is shown in italics in the results screen, indicating WTO-interpreted information.

G. CLASSIFICATIONS USED IN THIS APPLICATION:
1. HS - Harmonized System  download
2. ICS - International Classification for Standards  download
3. NTM - Non-Tariff Measures, interagency classification  download

UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations system for the integrated treatment of trade and development. UNCTAD’s Programme on NTMs aims to enhance the transparency on NTMs and to provide support to policy makers.

© UNCTAD 2015
Disclaimer
 
Follow UNCTAD
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Flickr