How to address non-tariff barriers for EU importers sourcing from developing countries

A CBI and ITC roundtable

Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and how they are perceived by European importers. This was the subject of a roundtable highlighting the most relevant findings from an International Trade Centre (ITC) report, organised by CBI in cooperation with the ITC on 18 April 2017. Having sufficient imports is very important for employment in the Netherlands, as they are responsible for an economic value of 425 billion USD in 2015.

ITC report

Imports from developing countries play an integral part in EU economies. However, little attention is being paid to the role of EU importers sourcing products from these countries. A study done by the ITC shows that EU companies face many challenges when importing their goods into the EU. Over 8,000 EU companies participated in the research.


The roundtable presentation and discussion focused on how to address and facilitate concrete needs of European importers when importing products from developing countries. The meeting  served as an incentive to initiate a discussion on facilitating European importers in their needs. Product quality, reliability and conformity with EU standards were discussed as NTMs to be overcome when importing products from developing countries. Several potential new measures were examined that would benefit Dutch importers, which are under consideration as elements for the larger aid and trade agenda.


A variety of stakeholders from policy-making and policy execution attended the meeting. Participants concluded more attention should be given to import and its relevance for the aid and trade agenda. In the aid agenda, companies in developing countries can be supported in improving their product quality, reliability and conformity. In terms of trade import facilitation for the Netherlands, SMEs could be assisted by including services such as importers missions, matchmaking and communication about new trade agreements with developing countries. Therefore, policy-makers should formulate concrete policies on how to facilitate easier sustainable import flows from developing countries.

The ITC report: (page 19 and following).

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