Pakistan Economic and Social Review - Lahore


School of Economics, University of the Punjab, Lahore
ISSN (print): 1011-002X
ISSN (online): 2224-4174


  • June 30, 2021
Non-tariff measures, Tariffs, GCC

The paper investigates the evolution of core non-tariff measures (NTMs) on imports in GCC at the HS 6-digit product level. The paper calculates the frequency indices (FI) and coverage ratios (CR) for 2003 and 2015 using data from UNCTAD and COMTRADE. Although the GCC tariffs declined, it experienced an increase in core NTMs. However, compared to GCC, non-GCC high-income countries have higher FI (number of imports subject to NTMs) and CR (import value subject to NTMs) in 2015 than in 2003. Saudi Arabia has the highest FI and CR among GCC. Oman and Kuwait have relatively lower FI and CR. The increase in FI and CR from 2003 to 2015 is highest for Bahrain. GCC imports are equally subject to technical measures and quantity restrictions. Looking at the NTMs applied across the GCC sectors, we find that more than 90 percent of the agriculture sector is subject to quantity control and technical measures, compared to less than half percent in the manufacturing industry. We recommend GCC to review, monitor, and simplify the NTMs, particularly in the agriculture sector, to ensure food security in the long run. Harmonization of cross-border trade and investment-related issues such as a custom corporation, removing administrative barriers, and eliminating restrictive and discriminatory trade policies may lead to welfare gains in GCC and trading partners.


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PhD student/researcher

Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha



Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha – Qatar.




Type: Articles
Volume: 59
Issue: 1
Language: English
Id: 613c9d452aad2
Pages 113 - 142
Published June 30, 2021


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.