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Approaches to classification of non-tariff measures for foreign trade regulation

Volkov R.G. Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting, Moscow, Russian Federation ( rvolkov@forecast.ru )

Sabel'nikova E.M. Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting, Moscow, Russian Federation ( esabelnikova@forecast.ru )

Journal: Economic Analysis: Theory and Practice, #4, 2018

Importance The analysis of non-tariff measures for foreign trade regulation implies application of classifications developed over the last decades by international economic organizations and independent researchers. The article deals with the evolution of different approaches to non-tariff measures classification from the middle of the 20th century to the present day.
Objectives The study aims to review different approaches to non-tariff measures classification.
Methods We investigate approaches to non-tariff measures classification and perform their historical and qualitative analysis.
Results The analysis shows that researchers and international organizations have developed several classifications over recent 30 years. However, all of them either solved specific problems or became irrelevant due to expansion of non-tariff measures. This required joint efforts of the UN, WTO, UNCTAD and other organizations to develop a universal classification.
Conclusions At present, the UNCTAD classification developed in 2008 is considered to be the most comprehensive and widely used one. Though it covers approximately 180 non-tariff measures, the classification process remains unfinished.


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