Non-Tariff Measures: India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal

Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) conducted the survey in India for the World Bank project ‘Non Tariff Measures in India-Nepal & India Bangladesh’.

The core objective of the study was to examine the Non Tariff Measures acting as barriers for the traders in India-Nepal and India-Bangladesh trade. The survey would further examine various elements of NTMs as detailed below:
• To examine the process standards, labeling, testing, certification registration, packaging, environmental standards.
• To examine the issues related to L/Cs, insurance and trade financing
• Understanding of the perception from traders on the extent of trade expansion that they perceive in the next five years and their perception on the extent to which they perceive that in the next five years these NTMs will be easier to comply with.

India remains as the major trading partner in the South Asia Region with a share of 37% in the total South Asian Region trade of 13832 million USD. While the sheer economic size is reason enough to explain the significant role of India in the region, the smaller neighbors have repeatedly expressed their concerns about their inability to penetrate the Indian market. India has been trying to address the concern of its neighboring countries through certain measures like allowing duty free access to all items ahead of the stipulated time under SAFTA for all LDC members, removing specific duties for all items and reducing the sensitive list to just 25 items for the LDCs in the SAARC region. However, even then the neighboring countries in SAARC region have a perception that India is imposing certain Non Tariff Measures to restrict access into its markets. This study examines whether the changed policy regime has indeed paved the way for greater market access or whether NTMs continue to pose market access barriers into India.