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Background on Trade Policy Measures in WITS

This section of the module introduces you to different the different types of protection data that are available through WITS. We will cover the following issues:

  • the different types of tariffs (bound vs applied; MFN vs preferential)
  • importance of binding coverage and binding overhangs
  • different forms of tariff rates (ad-valorem, specific, compound) and using WITS to estimate ad-valorem equivalents
  • types of non-tariff measures available through WITS

Sources of Protection Data

WITS includes three databases that contain protection data disaggregated to the tariff line level.

  • UNCTAD's Trade Analysis Information System (TRAINS)
  • WTO's Integrated Database (IDB)
  • WTO's Consolidated Tariff Schedules database (CTS)

The matrix below shows the different measures that each of these databases currently contains, plus the number of countries for which the database has information. You can identify the coverage for each given year by looking at the catalogs under the Help and Information menu.

Information available in each database

MFN applied tariffs

Preferential applied tariffs

WTO-bound tariffs

Non-tariff measures











Note: figures represent the number of countries for which the source database has information.

Next: Types of Tariffs

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The World Bank, 2010