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Integrated Tariff Analysis System (ITAS)

The Integrated Tariff Analysis System (ITAS) is a suite of SAS and MS Excel programs that was developed by the Productivity Commission to analyse the effects of different approaches to reducing tariffs in the context of multilateral liberalisation.

ITAS performs five main tasks. It:

  • reads and standardises selected trade and tariff data (at the 6 digit level of the HS classification) from the WTO's Integrated Database and Consolidated Tariff Schedule;
  • estimates post-Uruguay applied tariffs;
  • creates an initial database combining the standardised data;
  • applies a variety of tariff reduction rules to selected members' tariff schedules; and
  • provides tools to summarise the final data in a variety of ways for subsequent analysis and presentation.

Tariff summaries are based on bilateral tariff rates on industrial products for a selection of 19 WTO members, and calculations at a disaggregated level of the effects of applying different rules on each member's tariff schedule and the tariffs faced by its exports.

As a model, ITAS is a simplification. It incorporates a framework to address data limitations that pose serious obstacles to analysing possible tariff reduction scenarios. Until the data limitations are addressed in a definitive way, an accurate representation of tariff structures is not possible, and the assumptions that are incorporated in models such as ITAS are required to facilitate the assessment of different proposals. ITAS is, therefore, designed primarily for use by trade analysts and researchers, as well as negotiators who require an accessible way to assess the effects of different proposals.

A staff working paper, An Integrated Tariff Analysis System: Software and Database, outlines the general structure of the suite of programs and the primary data on which it is based. ITAS users are strongly advised to read the staff working paper to gain a general understanding of what ITAS does and how it works.

WTO copyright of the original data is gratefully acknowledged. However, conditions of use preclude the Commission from making the data available below the 6 digit level of classification.

For ease of exposition, we refer to the disaggregated level (which typically refers to tariff line items) as HSx. Many countries use an HS8 classification while others use an HS10 classification. Very few use an HS12 or more detailed classification. The lower levels of aggregation are based on classification systems that are peculiar to each country or customs territory concerned. Only the HS6 classification is consistent across countries.