Legal and Regulatory Framework - ITC

Legal and Regulatory Framework - ITC

Information dated: 2017
Legal aspects of foreign trade

An enabling regulatory framework is essential in order to benefit from opportunities in international trade. ITC assists policymakers in harmonizing and implementing legal and regulatory framework reforms at national, regional and multilateral levels.  It also helps TISIs in improving the legal services they provide to SMEs and provides enterprises with access to tools to facilitate international transactions and reduce transactions costs for their internationalization.

ITC has developed a multilingual web-based system on multilateral trade treaties and instruments, the ‘Trade Treaties Map’ or LegaCarta tool, to assist TISIs and policymakers in optimizing their country's legal framework vis-à-vis more than 300 treaties and conventions that have an impact on trade. It provides policymakers and TISIs with easy access to a centralized database of treaties, international conventions, model laws, regional regulations, and legal tools, as well as instruments to facilitate multilateral trade engagements. ITC also enhances the commercial mediation and arbitration services and solutions for SMEs by building the capacities of both TISIs and professionals, and by spreading an alternative dispute resolution culture. SMEs benefit from a series of standardized model contracts and negotiating tools for enterprises, simple user guides for day-to-day international transactions and access to the latest technologies used in the area of legal support to small firms.

ITC is at the core of the Small Mediation and Arbitration Centres Network and manages pro-bono committees on model contracts for the development of international legal tools to support international trade.

Non-Tariff Measures

ITC has become the lead agency for identifying and understanding non-tariff obstacles to trade from the private-sector perspective. ITC’s Non-Tariff Measure (NTM) Programme brings the concerns of SMEs about regulatory and procedural trade obstacles to the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders, enabling concrete, specific responses. It increases the transparency of NTMs through company-level data collection and dissemination and provides thought leadership through applied research and analysis, thus contributing to evidence-based policymaking and reduced trade costs. Capacity-building for local survey specialists on the NTM classification and survey method is an important component. Data from the surveys are made available through ITC’s trade intelligence tools. Development partners and ITC use the findings to improve the efficiency of institutions and contribute to export development. Some partner countries use the findings in their negotiations with trading partners in an attempt to reduce the NTMs its businesses face.

Building on ITC business surveys on NTMs conducted in over 30 developing countries, ITC’s Trade Policy and Trade Facilitation Programmes work with partner countries to address regulatory and procedural obstacles.