The commerce ministry has set up a task force to identify and resolve trade barriers being faced by exporters in other countries, a move which would help provide greater market access to domestic goods, an official said.
The development assumes significance as many times India's exports suffer from these barriers such as time taking prior registration requirements and unreasonable domestic standards/rules in many countries.
"We have constituted a task force within the ministry where we will be looking at the trade barriers, and technical barriers. The ministry has been focusing on how to improve systems, and improve standards," the official said.
The ministry is also looking at improving mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) with different countries so that product standards are as per the requirements of the importing countries.
Standards for goods and services should help in promoting global trade and not act as non-tariff barriers, the official added.
According to a report of the economic think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), India needs to act in a fast-track manner for removal of non-trade barriers (NTBs), being faced by domestic exporters in different countries like the US, China and Japan, to achieve one trillion dollar outbound shipment target for goods by 2030.
It has asked for upgrading domestic systems, in cases where Indian products are rejected due to quality issues; and retaliating if unreasonable standards or rules continue to obstruct exports from New Delhi.
Key Indian exports that routinely face high barriers include chillies, tea, basmati rice, milk, poultry, bovine meat, fish, chemicals products to EU; sesame seed, black tiger shrimps, medicines, apparels to Japan; food, meat, fish, dairy, industrial products to China; shrimps to the US; and bovine meat to South Korea, the report has said.
According to the report, the other products which face these barriers include ceramic tiles in Egypt; chili in Mexico; medicines in Argentina; microbiological reagents in Saudi Arabia; electrical, medical devices, household appliances in Brazil; veterinary pharmaceuticals, feed additives, Machinery in Russia.
Most non-tariff measures (NTMs) are domestic rules created by countries with an aim to protect human, animal or plant health and environment. NTM may be technical measures like regulations, standards, testing, certification, pre-shipment inspection or non-technical measures like quotas, import licensing, subsidies, government procurement restrictions.
When NTMs become arbitrary, beyond scientific justification, they create hurdles for trade and are called NTBs (non-tariff barriers).