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December 2013
Market Access Intelligence
As part of the WTO's Economic Research and Statistics Division, the section dealing with market access analytical tools and information databases on tariff and non-tariff barriers, has been renamed into "Market Access Intelligence" (MAI) section. The new name better reflects the increasing role of analytical work and support to WTO transparency mechanism and monitoring exercises. Please contact us on

World Tariff Profiles 2013
The 2013 issue of the World Tariff Profiles has just been released. The publication summarizes the market access that each country offers to imports as well as the market access conditions faced by its products in its major export markets and is the only comprehensive compilation of tariff information of its kind. This year's issue contains a technical annex focusing on WTO members' participation in regional trade agreements (RTAs), with complementary data provided on tariff elimination in RTAs notified under the WTO's Transparency Mechanism.

This joint WTO, UNCTAD and ITC publication can be ordered or downloaded. Graphical presentations of the WTP data are available on the Tariff panel of the interactive database. For the mobile version on the iPad, iPhone and iPad mini using the ROAMBI™, the new views can be requested from the MAI mailbox.

Access tariff and trade data
The WTO Market Access Databases are constantly updated and provide information on WTO Members' bound duties (CTS database), and on 149 countries'/custom territories' applied tariffs and import statistics (IDB database). More than 1700 datasets are included in the IDB and cover annual applied duties and import statistics from the year 1995 to 2013, linked at the tariff line level.

WTO members are required to submit their detailed annual applied duties and import statistics to the IDB, which in turn, is allowed to collect data to fill important data gaps. Please check the IDB data availability and help us, when applicable, update your country's information by emailing us reliable sources for missing data to For reference, have a look at our new summary G/MA/288 that provides all the information you need to know about IDB notifications including examples of formats in its annex.

Assistance on WTO accessions
Since its establishment in 1995, 31 countries/customs territories have joined the WTO. Acceding to the WTO entails making commitments on both goods and services; these concessions are generally negotiated bilaterally with individual WTO Members. Managing the market access negotiations on goods based on a list of 5000-10000 product items, keeping them consistent with the HS coding system, negotiating all or selected items of this list with a good number of WTO Members (10-60) over a number of years and, last but not least, keeping track of own positions and already made commitments are clearly daunting tasks even for some of the biggest economies.

In order to facilitate the process, focusing purely on the technical aspects and based upon the considerable experience gathered in consolidating lists of concessions on goods, the WTO Secretariat has been providing technical support to acceding governments in their accession negotiations. Apart from information and guidance on the procedural aspects and background information on WTO Members' Schedules, the main focus has been to ensure the consistency with the HS coding system and to explain the coverage of pre-defined sectoral initiatives/agreements like the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in case these are requested as part of the market access negotiations.

The assistance starts with a review of the initial offer for HS consistency. In some instances guidance is provided to resolve HS classification divergences between specific bilateral requests and offers. When all bilateral market accession negotiations are concluded, the Market Access Intelligence Section, in collaboration with the Accessions Division, takes the responsibility to prepare the Draft Schedule of Concessions and Commitment, which will become the legal instrument of accession after the adoption by the WTO membership. The purpose of this technical process is to consolidate the results contained in individual bilateral market access agreements into one single list of tariff concessions.

Utmost confidentiality in dealing with Members and acceding governments alike has been the foundation for the trust which has fostered the practical and focused technical assistance. Trust in the Secretariat's technical expertise has also alleviated the Members' technical verification tasks. This, in turn, has led to speedier conclusions than would have been possible otherwise.

E-learning on Market Access Databases
The WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation together with the Market Access Intelligence Section has developed an interactive module on the WTO Market Access Databases and the online tools.

You can directly access the e-learning module and learn about the contents and online tools of the WTO market access databases, or you can register and officially enroll in the course (ET201514E) through the following link:

After successful completion of the module, participants will have:
• acquired the knowledge of how to access and use the WTO's Integrated Database (IDB) and Consolidated Tariff Schedules (CTS) database on-line, download data and generate reports;
• benefited from the establishment of a network of useful contacts between course participants and experts from the WTO Secretariat.

Participants officially enrolled in the course will have access to the WTO eLibrary, background documents, chat sessions with WTO experts, as well as useful links to complement your study. You have to register and submit the nomination form in order to access the course exam and obtain a WTO certificate. Those unable to officially register can still have full access to the module but would not be given a certificate after they complete the course.

This is Issue #05 of the WTO Tariff News sent by the Statistics Group, World Trade Organization
WTO, Rue de Lausanne 154,  CH-1211 Geneva,  Switzerland,  +41(0)22 739 5731,