Most Ethiopian Exporters Face Challenges Related to Non-Tariff Measures

Ethiopia’s export sector has grown rapidly in recent years, but the country’s businesses would be performing even better in international markets were they not held back by an array of non-tariff measures (NTMs).

According to a new survey of Ethiopian exporters, importers and producers by the International Trade Centre (ITC), 96% of trading companies report difficulties related to the application and implementation of NTMs. Exports are much more affected than imports: 90% of exporting companies report facing burdensome NTMs, while only 56% of importing companies report such problems.

The NTM Business Survey focuses on six economic sectors: coffee, oilseeds, other agricultural products, textiles, leather products, and other manufacturing. Among them, leather products are the most affected by NTM-related obstacles.

The survey reveals as well that one-fifth of the export-related challenges pertain to technical requirements imposed either by domestic authorities or by trading partners. Product identity and quality requirements are the most frequent burdensome situations cited by businesses.

For agricultural products, these regulations define thresholds such as the percentage of coffee beans that may be broken beans or the amount of pesticide residue beyond which a food would no longer be deemed safe for consumption. For manufactured products, these regulations may impose limits on the use of chemical inputs, such as chromium and sulphur in shoemaking, for instance.

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