Non-tariff obstacles to cross-border

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) says that Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) are the actual obstacles to cross-border commerce in today’s world.

And the Centre has commended Government for developing a National Strategy on the elimination of non-tariff barriers impacting Zambia’s trade with the rest of its trading partners.

CTPD Researcher Trade and Development Emmanuel Muma said the NTB include export and import controls, and additional licensing requirements.

Mr Muma said the absence of trade tariffs which basically refers to duties and taxes imposed by Government to control the flow of trade, globally.

He said NTBs continues to pause a challenge to the free flow of goods and services in most of the existing free trade areas.

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Mr Muma said most countries now use non-tariff barriers as an economic strategy to control the level of trade they conduct with other countries.

“For example, Zambia’s export of agriculture commodities such as sugar, maize, maize meal, and wheat, is often restricted by quotas and export bans despite having the capacity to supply large volumes,” he said.

He said like many other countries, Zambia’s trade with the rest of the countries continues to be affected by several NTBs, but commonly known ones include unpredictable regulations, export, and import quotas trade licensing requirements, barriers related to sanitary and phytosanitary measure (SPS) and other cumbersome border and transit procedures.

Mr Muma said Zambia’s NTB elimination strategy, which was recently introduced, is planned to increase the country’s reporting mechanisms, improve border efficiency, and eliminate current NTBs while restricting the entry of new ones, particularly at critical border crossings such as Kasumbalesa.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia launched a National Strategy on the Elimination of Non-tariff Barriers Impacting Zambia’s Trade with the Rest of the World on the 4th of June 2021, in light of the nature and detrimental effect of non-tariff barriers on trade.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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