The objective of this policy paper is twofold. First, it analyses how non-tariff measures (NTMs) became more protectionist than tariffs. Second, it provides some policy options to address NTMs in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) in order to unleash their trade potential. Recent data shows that most of the NTMs deal with conformity assessment as well as rules of origin. Addressing NTMs depends on several requirements namely: more detailed firm-level surveys on NTMs, more accredited laboratories (especially by the EU) in sectors having a comparative advantage and providing technical assistance from both the government and international donors to differentiate.