UNECE Evaluation Methodology for Analyzing Procedural and Regulatory Barriers to Cross-border Trade

Author: UNECE through its Trade Policy and Government Cooperation Section.

Established: The evaluation methodology was developed in 2010.

Coverage: National. The UNECE conducts a trade needs assessment every year, and based on requests by UNECE Member States

Link to the document on the internet: The methodology and the reports are available on the UNECE website

Objective: To help countries design sequenced interventions (in the form of new/revised regulations and procedures; capacity building programmes/projects to strengthen public and market support institutions; and, infrastructure development projects), which target procedural and regulatory barriers to the smooth flow of goods throughout the international trade supply chain.

Overview: The methodology involves actor-oriented questionnaires, geared to establish a comprehensive, easy to grasp representation of the procedural and regulatory institutional set-up governing supply chain operations; how this institutional set-up works itself into the daily processes underpinning the flow of goods behind and at-the-borders; and, its impact on transaction costs (time and financial wise). In particular, the questionnaires focuse on: (i) trade facilitation measures; (ii) quality control systems embodied in standardization policies, technical regulations, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology (SQAM); and (iii) trade-related infrastructure, including transport and logistical support.
The methodology also features the establishment of the starting point for benchmarking the regulatory and institutional set-up in terms of its stage of development. Both regulatory activities and business processes (by traders) are measured against internationally recognized standards, recommendations and best practices by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the UNECE and other specialized regional and international organizations.