The Trade Obstacles Alert (TOA) platform is an interactive tool designed to facilitate the identification and elimination of trade obstacles encountered by trade operators.
This web-based platform allows trade operators to report obstacles they face when exporting or importing their products. Via an alert system based on email notifications, the relevant national authorities are informed of these obstacles and can provide timely solutions. In addition, users can choose to receive alerts of the obstacles encountered by other operators for the products and markets of their interest.
The overall objective of the TOA platform is to address the need of exporters and importers for enhanced transparency in trade regulations and business processes. The private sector often lacks information, infrastructure and/or technical support to meet the complex requirements imposed to them. In addition, policy makers do not always have a clear understanding of the main obstacles to trade affecting the private sector, which makes difficult the development of appropriate trade policies.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) conducts large-scale company-level surveys to identify regulations that companies find burdensome, known as the NTM business surveys. Despite the efforts of national authorities to improve the business environment of their country, many obstacles remain. They derive, on the one hand, from regulations adopted by partner countries and national authorities and, on the other, from the procedures required to implement said regulations. The NTM business survey aims to improve the understanding of trade obstacles affecting the market and facilitate the implementation of trade policies that can effectively tackle them.
The TOA platform ensures the continuity of the public-private dialogue on trade obstacles triggered by the NTM business survey in order to improve the country business environment.