Certification, testing major non-tariff barriers for exporters: survey

Staff Correspondent

Majority of the burdensome regulations faced by the Bangladeshi exporters are related to conformity assessments like product certification, testing and inspection requirement, said a survey report on Monday.
The survey was jointly conducted by International Trade Chamber and Business Initiative Leading Development which was unveiled at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry auditorium in the city on the day.
According to the survey, most of the burdensome regulations faced by the exporters originate from the European Union. ‘However, when compared to the share of Bangladeshi exports it buys, 54 per cent, the share of non-tariff measures or NTMs attributed to EU is relatively lower at 40 per cent,’ said a BUILD press release on the day.
In the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation market, where Bangladeshi exporters have 2 per cent market share, the share of burdensome NTMs is 10 per cent and mostly originated in India which is Bangladesh’s largest export destination in SAARC, said the release.
‘Even legitimate NTMs can become a trade barrier, as the compliance with NTMs can require additional costs and extra time, which reduces the competitiveness of products. According to the NTM survey in Bangladesh, a large number of the exporters reported that they have experienced difficulties with NTMs applied by destination markets or by Bangladesh,’ said the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Abdul Matlub Ahmad while speaking at the survey unveiling ceremony.
BUILD chairman Asif Ibrahim said, ‘It is important to understand the non-tariff obstacles to trade exporters and importers experience when trading their goods. Exporting companies seeking access to foreign markets and companies importing products need to comply with a wide range of requirements.’
Industries secretary Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that NTMs needed to be assessed in both ways and industrial policy could work as a vehicle to address some NTMs.
ITC’s head of Market Analysis and Research Mondher Mimouni said, ‘The ITC NTM surveys which has been implemented in over 30 developing countries attempts to identify these obstacles and attempt to resolve the difficulties of the business sector. In Bangladesh, the survey shows that there is need to improve capacity of Bangladeshi companies as well as improve efficiencies in the various agencies.’

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