The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has introduced an exciting new feature on its website that allows companies to report technical barriers they are facing in export markets.
Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) are measures applied by countries, other than tariffs, which can restrict imports. They can include measures applied at the border including customs documentation and licence requirements, and measures applied behind the border such as technical regulations, standards and testing requirements.
Chief Executive Officer of the ECA, Lisa McAuley, says the Australian Government has worked hard to open up market access opportunities with Australia’s key trade partners through FTAs but it is important to continue to focus on NTMs.
Established markets and growth markets, particularly in Asia, have been increasing the range, level, sophistication and coordination of NTMs. A collective effort is needed to improve business’ awareness of how to report NTMs and provide clarity around how they can be dealt with by government.
The ECA has been calling for new mechanisms to capture data on the NTMs Australian businesses are encountering to help direct support to where it is needed most.
“We are pleased to be taking steps to assist our members and the broader international trade community by increasing their awareness of NTMs, what they are, how they can be reported and what avenues exist to address them,” says Ms McAuley.
The ECA is of the view that this is a ‘first step’ and is exploring other tools that can be developed to help address this issue, including a mobile app that would enable businesses to report NTMs while they are on the go.
“This is a complex area and we are aware that not all non-tariff issues exporters face can we dealt with through this mechanism, however, we view this initiative as a starting point,” Ms McAuley said.
As highlighted in the ECA’s 2015/16 Trade Policy Recommendations, to enable effective progress to be made on removing these barriers DFAT and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources need to be adequately resourced and a strategic, whole-of-government approach needs to be taken.
This initiative focuses on improving industry engagement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade notified by other countries to the World Trade Organization. Businesses can register to receive email alerts of these notifications through ePing, a new website providing businesses and governments with information relating to product requirements and standards.
To access the form, please follow the link: http://www.export.org.au/trade-policy/report-your-export-barriers