Non-tariff barriers in international trade

What does non-tariff barrier mean in international trade?

Contemporary Economic Development Strategies in today’s global business system encourage countries to do more exports and fewer imports to achieve a sustainable development. 

Especially less developed countries that could not reach adequate export levels try to limit their imports in an aggressive ways. 

As tariffs have been decreased by WTO agreements all around the world now the only choice left for these kinds of countries that can be used to restrict the import is Non-tariff barriers (NTB).


What does non-tariff barrier mean? Why countries apply them?

Non-tariff barriers are import restrictions which are in form other than high import tariffs. Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) make import of goods more difficult and costly. 

Their visible target is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of consumers of a country which is applying such trade restrictions. But their hidden aim is to limit the imports as well as protecting the local manufacturers against low quality and cheap products. 

Non-tariff barriers have been getting more important just after the rise of Chinese exports. They are the only solution that can be found to limit the outbreak of “Made in China” products!

Classification of non-tariff barriers :

Government participation in trade and restrictive practices tolerated by governments
  • Government aids
  • Countervailing duties
  • Government procurement
  • Restrictive practices tolerated by governments
  • State trading, government monopoly practices, etc.
Customs and administrative entry procedures
  • Anti-dumping duties
  • Valuation
  • Customs classification
  • Consular formalities and documentation
  • Samples
  • Rules of origin
  • Customs formalities

Technical barriers to trade
  • Technical regulations and standards
  • Testing and certification arrangements
Specific limitations
  • Quantitative restrictions and import licensing
  • Embargoes and other restrictions of similar effect
  • Screen-time quotas and other mixing regulations
  • Exchange control
  • Discrimination resulting from bilateral agreements
  • Discriminatory sourcing
  • Export restraints
  • Measures to regulate domestic prices
  • Tariff quotas
Charges on import
  • Prior import deposits
  • Surcharges, port taxes, statistical taxes, etc.
  • Discriminatory film taxes use taxes, etc.
  • Discriminatory credit restrictions
  • Border tax adjustments
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