Customs duties? The real war is fought on non-tariff barriers!


Despite the recent agreement, the tariffs war being fought between the United States and China seems more like a chess game between the two main global economies, in which the moves made by the US President are followed by the counter-attacks of the President of the People’s Republic of China. The rhetoric around this war has fuelled the volatility of the financial markets, particularly in the most directly involved sectors (technology, agriculture and cars) and future scenarios still have to be defined, also in relation to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

However, little attention has been paid to the increasing and exponential level of non-tariff barriers. This subject is much less talked about and does not appear to have grasped the attention of Western leaders. There is a sea of certificates of conformity, certifications, technical regulations and laboratory tests to be navigated, that differ from state to state. These disproportionate or unjustified mechanisms are often under the false pretence of guaranteeing high safety standards to consumers, while in fact they are used to distort the market and protect the – at times fragile and inefficient – domestic manufacturing. Furthermore, they are adopted surreptitiously in place of tariff barriers, to avoid retaliation and WTO rule infringement actions.

Electrical and electronic goods are in fact mostly regulated at international level. These standards, which are valid worldwide, are drafted by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the international organisation that works closely with the WTO.

IEC members
IEC members _ By Japinderum at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Huge, and greatly underestimated, damage is caused particularly to small and medium-sized exporters, who find it more difficult to manage and bear the ever-increasing costs of adapting to this type of demand, often regardless of product quality or healthy and fair competition.

Well in advance, we understood the threats of this situation and have developed a global project for certifying our entire range of products. Global Market Access is today the most extensive and cutting-edge certification package in the entire furniture lighting sector. In other words, we offer our customers the advantage of being able to face the global market without problems or limitations and to guarantee the marketing of our products everywhere in the world.

For more information visit the GMA section on this website.