Methods of Reducing Imports

Keywords: benefits of reducing imports, non tariff transfer barriers

At the outset, the entire world Trade Company (WTO) having as central try to free up trade and declaring that ' the system's overriding goal is to help trade movement as easily as possible', possessed following the Doha Development Agenda integrated trade liberalisation steps.

As such, the Doha Round was launched, where in fact the ministers placed the needs and hobbies of the producing countries in the centre of the task Programme adopted in the Declaration, they said, "We shall continue steadily to make positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries, and especially the least-developed among them, secure a share in the expansion of world trade commensurate with the needs of the economic development. In this particular context, enhanced market access, balanced guidelines, and well targeted, sustainably financed complex assistance and capacity-building programs have important assignments that can be played. " Hence, the expanding countries expect that the new circular of trade discussions will focus on tariff peaks, high tariffs, and tariff acceleration that have been restricting them to push the augmentation of their export market show in world marketplaces in general, and especially, in developed countries.

Furthermore, following a decline of tariff rates caused by the eight multilateral trade discussions rounds and trade liberalisation agreements, there has been a growth in the comparative importance of Non-Tariff Steps.

Definition of Non-Tariff Measures

Generally, there is no specific description of the Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs). Yet, NTMs are defined as encompassing any procedures (open public or private) other than regular tariffs to liberalise international trade flows.

Consequently, used, almost all of the NTMs have been criticised to be impediments to international trade, increasing the price tag on both imports and import-competing good. Therefore, favouring home over foreign supply resources by obliging importers and overseas exporters to bill higher prices or limit the quantity of imports.

Types of Non-Tariff Measures

Accordingly, there are many types of Non-Tariffs Actions, for occasion, Laird and Vossenaar (1991), have submit a broad classification of NTMs, figuring out five categories, below are an illustration of the NTMs.

Measures to control the volume of imports

These actions constitute prohibitions like quotas, quantitative restraint (QRs) on imports with exports restraint contract (ERAs), voluntary export restraints (VERs), non-automatic licensing, import authorisation and State governments trading or singular import monopolies.

Prohibitions may generally or specifically connect with hands and munitions, military services equipments except brought in to armed forces, drugs except when imported to health specialists or methodical purposes, plant life or family pets especially, the endangered kinds. Thus, if certain criteria are found with, the imports may be prohibited.

Quotas are restricts the number or value of brought in goods, which are set for a particular time frame and are improved over times.

Non-automatic licensing is more expressly a way to administer conditional prohibitions or quotas.

VERs are usually informal export restraint agreements (ERAs) between an exporter and an importer whereby the past agrees to limit, for a certain time period, the exports of certain goods to the marketplace of the imports to shun the imposition of import quotas. They are generally industry-to-industry agreements, but Government authorities can be involved on a more or less formal basis.

States trading or transfer monopolies are procedures whereby only the government agency gets the right to operate or grants or loans that to an exclusive monopolies.

Measures to control the price tag on imported goods

These actions can be further subdivided into tariff-type or para-tariff options and price NTMs.

Para-tariff Measures

These comprise of customs surcharges, local charges levied on imports, changing levies, anti-dumping responsibilities, countervailing duties, additional charges.

Variables levies are special charges on imports of some goods in order to increase their price of domestic focus on price.

Anti-dumping duties are charges enforced on goods from specific trading partner or lovers to counterbalance the effect of dumping.

Countervailing steps are enforced on goods to offset the effect of bounty or subsidy obtained straight or indirectly on the creation.

Price Measures

Other price steps constitute of voluntary export price restraints, authorities procurement procedures, where a price inclination is attributed for local products. Consequently, the computation of the purchase price preference was created to determine the results of general population tenders for the way to obtain products to authorities agencies.

Additionally, other actions under this category raise the price of imports including deposit need (without interest payments), special legislation on forex and use of credit for imports

Monitoring Steps, including price and size investigations

These methods include automated licensing and imports security, typically put on keep track of imports levels stopping transfer surges.

Moreover, there are price monitoring and investigations, anti-dumping and countervailing investigations. Yet, these are viewed as using a 'harassing' of 'chilling' influence on imports. Third, type of thought it was argued by Messerlin (1988) that antidumping investigations themselves could cause a decrease in imports.

Production and Exports Measures

Here, procedures are used assisting or managing creation or exports. Consequently the principal options include development and export subsidies and export prohibitions and fees.

Hence, subsides may apply to support domestic production, particularly, in the agricultural sector or be utilized as an instrument of the industrial policy in developing or developed countries. These bounties can be utilized for services such as, transfer, finance necessary for the marketing or creation.

Furthermore, export may be restricted for reasons of products are considered harmful or amount to a security risk. Also, export prohibitions and fees are mainly applied to conserve natural resources like unusual tropical timbers.

Technical Barriers

These barriers fall under the typical and Qualifications Category and are applied at the frontier, including complex regulations and benchmarks to be satisfied by imported products to ensure these products conform to the same benchmarks as required by regulations for products manufactured in the home country.

Hence, they constitute of health, sanitary, phytosanitary and safeness laws, marking and packaging requirements, necessary labeling product benchmarks, production standards and so on. These technical obstacles either increase the price of imports or prohibit non-complying imports.

On the other hands, Certification involves Quarantine, General Official certification, tests, inspection and amongst others.

Moreover, as well as the above NTMs category, addititionally there is the Home Governance, other form of NTMs which include

Government Assistance, illustrations are, development and export assistance.

Public Procurement issues, illustrations are General Choices, Tending systems, Agreement conditions

Investment Restrictions, cases are foreign equity constraints, performance requirements/incentives, Trade balancing

Distribution Restriction, cases are whole constraints, retail restrictions

Transportation Restriction, samples are restrictive airport polices, restrictive seaport regulations

Intellectual property protection under the law protection, illustrations are Copyright, Patent and Trademark

Law enforcement issues, instances are lack of legal infrastructure, inadequate work on trade integrity

Negative Impacts of Non-Tariff Actions on Trade

Generally, Non-Tariff Procedures (NTMs) are applied for authentic reasons.

Yet, the question that can be posed is, do NTMs really achieved the goal of the WTO in freeing up international trade or have instead been hampering the movement of trade among countries.

As such, the answer to this question is clear that the imposition of almost all of the NTMs were found to be alternatively a barrier to trade. Hence, contrary to what was argued in the Doha Round regarding the features of adopting trade liberalisation steps that is, NTMs, to enhance trade particularly in growing countries, are now viewed as impediments to operate.

Consequently, there are some specific types of NTMs that directly impact on imports of countries, like the para-tariff steps, factors levies, dumping/countervailing tasks (investigation and undertakings), transfer surcharges and deposits, imports monitoring, non-automatic licenses, some price control steps and voluntary export restraints, these NTMs are seen as having the pronounced restricting impacts on imports. Furthermore, it was argued by Messerlin (1988) that countervailing investigations may themselves cause a reduction in imports.

Also, a review was completed to spot and understand the negative impact of NTMs and was discovered that an initial finding of the ongoing review suggest that NTMs results varies from countries, for instance, in Burkina Faso 70% of interviewed companies reported that NTMs strongly have an impact on their daily businesses, compared to only 24% in Hong Kong (China).

Besides, the review also submit from the point of view of an individual company, how NTMs can prove to be barriers to operate, for example, companies may not know about the requirements and the regulations may be so stringent the company cannot follow them without making significant adjustment to its creation processes or the price to adhere to these options may be prohibitive, where companies have to check its products in alternative party country or be required to show and convert some health certificates which cause delays and expensive conformity processes. Hence, these procedural obstructions include limitations from administrative burden to time delays to insufficient legal safety in home country, export destination and transit countries.

Furthermore, it is analysed by Walkenhorst P. that in Apr 2000 there were around 1708 business claims about the non-tariff actions in good areas. Consequently, 'Issues by European union businesses referred to NTMs in 46 different countries, with about 39% of NTM claims regarding high-income countries and 61% growing countries. More than 40% of most NTMs were experienced by exporters selling into East Asian and Pacific marketplaces, followed by problems about market gain access to in Eastern European countries and Central Asia (23%) and North America (14%). Machinery, foods, and chemicals are the sectors in which NTM-complaints are most prevalent. However, the overall number of problems is an imperfect way of measuring need for NTMs across areas, as the second option vary in economical size. If the number of complaints is related to sectoral export value, the agriculture and food sectors grow to be the people with the greatest range of NTM-complaints in relative terms, accompanied by mining and textile. Quite simply, exporters of natural learning resource related products seem relatively frequently met with NTMs. '

As such, in China, it was discovered that request of some NTMs have never proved productive to the united states. Following this type of thought, it was advanced by Kirsten et al (1996) that, 'for many overseas companies, the biggest barrier to the China market is not high tariffs just as much as NTMs, including licensing requirements, transfer quotas, and documentation requirements. Some 300 NTMs remain, thwarting foreign exporters, though 176 NTMs were phased out on Dec 31, 1995. Both import licenses and quotas were raised on engine-equipped motor vehicle framework, for example. Licensing requirements were removed on vehicle bodies, ac units, and backup machines, while import quotas were abolished on certain built in circuits, alcoholic beverages, chemical substance products, antibiotics, and photographic videos. Extrudation machines and mineral casting devices, too, saw their import controls lifted. '

Furthermore, another constraint of NTMs impacting imports are that the majority of enough time, the import requirements establish differ among countries, hence, triggering further obstructions for both importers and exporters to offer at international level. Third, type of thought, it could be argued that the dissimilarities in import requirements between importing countries affect the competitiveness of exporters, where the latter will need to have the capacity of complying with the rules and standards at global level. Yet, differing criteria and regulations are extremely often costly. Hence, below can be an illustration of how differing NTMs may hamper trade.


Consequently, NTMs implemented in the Moroccan agricultural exports to EU are transport sanitary measures, including the control of diseases, agrochemicals and other preservatives. Yet, it is normally argued that most problems are encountered by Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) procedures which set the utmost Residual Levels (MRL) of the preservatives to be used while exporting. However, the down sides of the impediment become apparent when acknowledging that MRL differs among countries and changes from yr to year. Also, exporters have to provide research that the merchandise are according to the MRL specifications. Thus, MRL data should be from certified laboratories, which is expensive. Also, products need to be equally up to the product quality requirements beyond the countries' general population requirements related to shape, shade, surface characteristics and product texture like the firmness and freshness.

On the other hand, certain NTMs are located to be alternatively broad in dynamics like Certification, Requirements testing, thus, too extensive NTMs restrict imports since usually brought in products are located to be not relative to the level of class established by the countries. Therefore, the question that surfaces is what repercussion the new recognition requirements could have on the small-scale producer-exporters in expanding countries?

As a effect, either, they depart the marketplace or adjust to these regulations, which might lead to a rise in price of the products in that way being less skilled to operate. Hence abiding by these stringent rules becomes a complicated situation for importers as well as exporters. Consequently, below is an example of how wide-ranging NTMs have an effect on Tunisia.


Here, the primary obstacles experienced by the Tunisian exporters will be the cost and intricacy of abiding by the recognition and traceability requirements of private and general population institutions. Consequently, the manufacturers are refusing to improve their development system to comply with these measures that are subsequently increasing prices since the number of suppliers providing recycleables to exporters are reducing. Also, there's a short of trained laboratories to analyse SPS requirements, thus, exporters are unable to warranties their deliveries to Western european market. As a result, the unwanted effects of these NTMs are increasing prices of immediate and indirect costs in development and exports from Tunisia and worse, small organizations are disappearing to the good thing about bigger companies.

Nevertheless, NTMs tend to be criticised as a ways of national coverage to elude trade liberalisation resulting from drop of tariffs NTMs may be justified under the procedures or the exceptions provided under the various multilateral agreements regulating international trade. On the other hand, certain NTMs aren't justified under these legal procedures are usually termed as non tariff barriers (NTBs). Unjustified NTMs can deform the prices and levels of goods and services traded at international level. For those exporters and importers, mostly in expanding and least growing countries, such conditions have disproportionably high adverse effects on their ability to supply marketplaces; it impacts on their competitiveness and on the ability to really enter markets.

Moreover, polices and standards are usually founded in the rulings of local agri-food production. Therefore, they have a substantial impact on transfer conditions of these goods. Generally, they talk about issues on information problems and externalities linked with the societal concerns. Yet, in identifying the agri-food trade system, criteria and regulations could cause issues between importing and exporting countries, as transfer regulations always effect on exporters' possibilities to activate in trade.

Furthermore, the use of some NTMs are found to be somewhat hindering stream of trade anticipated to being too rigorous, vast allowing countries to set quality level of imports to optimum criteria, thus, these issues prohibits importations of a number of products, hence, creating significant effects on trade. So, below can be an example exhibiting how NTMs applied in India are considerably hampering the movement of agricultural imports.


It has been argued that the use of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) procedures have substantive and implementation deficiencies due to different factors such as, having less transparency process for issuing SPS measures, low degree of experience on part of Indian federal bureaucracy issuing benchmarks, which might lead to inadvertent effects like overly wide-ranging constraints or blurred benchmarks and unequal enforcement of SPS benchmarks on home and foreign resources. For example, SPS measures decide on be visibly less restrictive when Indian federal government establishes that market shortages need imports. Because of these disadvantages, the Indian SPS steps create complexity for US exporters in forming consistent and extensive business associations with Indian customers.

In addition, the level of phytosanitary measures that India enforces on agricultural imports is available to be beyond the generally accepted international benchmarks for those goods. Also, the Indian government does not provide a scientifically structured and generally accepted justification for the heightened level established. For instance, India has place a demanding tolerance limit for the presence of weed seed in wheat shipments. However, the united states companies have been unsuccessful in abiding by this guideline since economically they can not reach this limit; thus, they failed to persuade the Indian authorities that whole wheat imports meeting the US tolerance limitations would cause no harm to Indian agriculture.

Also, adoption of the state of hawaii Trading NTMs in India can be argued to be discriminatory vis- -vis the private Indian importers. Hence, trade is distorted when Indian federal increases the preeminent function of State Trading Corporations (STEs) in agricultural trade, in addition with the ability to advance government aims, by granting STEs preferential treatment in the tariff rates relevant to their imports in comparison to private sector Indian importer. For instance, there can be fifty percent tariff on private sector whole wheat imports versus zero percent obligation on STE whole wheat imports.

Ultimately, it can be deduced that NTMs which are too wide-ranging in nature, stringent and discriminatory may critically obstruct both imports and exports of product at international level.

Positive Effects of Non-Tariff Procedures on Trade

Conversely, since tariff procedures are constantly being trim such as, traditions under multilateral and local agreements, there is currently a growing role of Non-tariff procedures.

NTMs do not only negatively impact on trade, but some NTMs are also considered being crucial and good for trading. Also, the majority of NTMs try to protect health (human being, plants and animals) and likewise some NTMs may promote and set up trust among trading partners.

Accordingly, NTMs like Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) steps, though, contain some downsides as mentioned above, but are still very important in promoting reasonable trading internationally, where defected, low quality products are prohibited, hence resulting in the augmentation of consumers' safe practices. Theses NTMs ensure that the imported goods meet up with the local requirements and enable countries to protect themselves from the imports of noxious and polluted products.

Furthermore, the Sanitary and Phytosanitary methods allow countries to enforce trade constraints for health insurance and safety reasons based on clinical risk assessments. As a result, following the use of antibiotics in shrimps, countries impose durable settings on shrimp's imports. Hence two methods were applied, whereby some countries including the EU countries impose strict equivalence-based imports system where only countries which have place the uniformity of these food safety types of procedures with Western ones can export to the EU. On the other hand, only certified producers who confirmed the equality of their safety benchmarks and settings with Western ones were given the to export to EU market. Other countries like Japan or Canada take up a risk analysis solution to ensure the food safety with their seafoods imports.

Moreover, NTMs like Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protections are regarded as playing an intrinsic part in the international trade. On this empirical world, use of patents, trademarks and copyrights, physical indications, industrial designs are of utmost importance in further enhancing trade. Also, its effective use of knowledge contributes greatly to make the national economic prosper.

Consequently, the majority of NTMs are considered impeding trade, yet, country having an satisfactory and effective Intellectual Property Protection, are instead seen as a plus to operate at international level. Therefore, Intellectual Property is on main concern set of the Indonesian government, since Indonesia form part among the list of countries with the weakest IP cover, the government wants to persuade the united states, their biggest trading partner that Indonesia has a strong IP protection. The main reason behind enforcing powerful coverage on intellectual property by Indonesian federal is to avoid tariffs trade that could obstruct its monetary growth and also to curtail international investment. Thus, what can be deduced is the fact to become competitive to trade globally, countries must make procedures for strong IP protection. Hence, it can be argued not all NTMs have adverse effect on trade but there are a few like IP protections that alternatively underpin international trade and also motivate firms to become more involved in research and development jobs, since they are secured and get strong protections.

Also, NTMs can also be argued to be a way of avoiding terrorism serves within countries, for illustration, NTMs like import prohibitions or other methods controlling the volume of imports may ban imports of biceps and triceps, munitions except to army forces. As a result, these NTMs play a major role in promoting the security of the countries and its citizens.

Eventually, it could be argued that not absolutely all NTMs in all sector hamper trade, instead there are a few NTMs which may have high contribution in further boosting the integrity and smoothing trades at global level.

Ways to diminish the negative impact of Non-Tariff Actions on trade

Since, certain NTMs are significantly causing obstruction to trade, one of the perfect solution is to evade these impediments are to decrease the amount of NTMs behaving as barriers to trade. Thus, by detatching NTMs most likely to prevent trade, transacting internationally will be further boosted and advanced.

Hence, according to the economic analysis carried out above the NTMs in EU-US Trade and Investment, it includes examined the extent to which NTMs can realistically be reduced ("actionability" of NTMs) on the basis of review results, views from industry organizations and expert thoughts.

The main finish is that there are substantial economic advantages to be reaped from reducing the trade costs of transatlantic regulatory divergences. The headline characters are the following

For the European union, getting rid of all actionable NTMs would translate into a rise in GDP (122 billion per year) and exports (+2. 1%). Sector-wise EU benefits would come mainly from gains in motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and electric machinery.

Ї For the US, benefits from getting rid of actionable NTMs are estimated at 41 billion per calendar year for GDP and 6. 1% for exports. US benefits would mainly accrue to the electro-mechanical equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, financial services and insurance areas.

Moreover, NTMs that are thought to be being too wide like Qualifications or Standards tests must have a specific acceptable quality level established internationally where all countries have to abide, in this manner; countries will be refrained from placing an even that is above the quality place for international trade and therefore be prevented from prohibiting imports of products.


In guise of bottom line, it can be argued that non-tariff options have both positive and negative impact on international trade, where NTMs can be utilized as tools for consumer safeguard and legislation of domestic marketplaces but on the other hands, viewed as road blocks to trade. Subsequently, the task is to apply these methods without imposing hurdle to trade, that is, NTMs is essential for trading as long as trade is not hampered by these options. Hence, it is clear that more work still need to be done to limit the results of NTMs on trade

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