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Non-tariff barriers refers to all barriers to trade that are not tariffs. Examples of these include countervailing and anti-dumping duties, "voluntary" export restraints, subsidies which sustain in operation loss making enterprises, technical barriers to trade, and obstacles to the establishment and provision of services.

Moreover, the term is often used to include certain domestic measures, such as restraints on distribution and non-competitive practices that can also distort trade in the same way as border measures do.

Some of these instruments, in particular technical regulations, minimum standards and certification systems regarding health and consumer safety do not ipso facto constitute barriers to trade, as they are generally employed to meet legitimate policy goals. However, there is a perception that, in some circumstances these sorts of policy instruments are being misused.

Source Publication:
The OECD Economic Outlook: Sources and Methods.


Statistical Theme: International trade statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Friday, March 28, 2014