Governmental Barriers to Trade

One of the major difficulties that may face exports in the global markets is the unfair technical and/or tariff- barriers set by governmental authorities of importing countries against their entry.

May 3, 2021

One of the major difficulties that may face exports in the global markets is the unfair technical and/or tariff- barriers set by governmental authorities of importing countries against their entry. 
Governmental barriers are often applied to protect local industries in the importing country. However, corruption can also be behind such barriers.   
Examples of technical trade barriers are so many. One of the major benefits of the WTO rules is that they were designed to overcome such barriers, as they set the "principles and criteria " of what may constitute a “technical barrier to trade”, and further illegalize such barriers in the national laws of member countries; to empower exporting companies to secure competitive access to destination markets. 
Note: It is essential to understand that any referral to the WTO rules is also a referral to the provisions of national trade laws in WTO member countries, because the WTO rules become an integral part of member country's national laws upon its accession to the WTO.
Even with the WTO rules, however, member countries continue to find different ways to violate them. Therefore, the burden is always on exporting and importing companies to contest such violations. What is most important in this regard is the awareness of what may constitute an illegal barrier when it is applied against the entry of an exported product to the importing country's market, and the awareness of the legal tools available as such to remedy the unjust measures, whether at the WTO level, or before judicial and executive branches of the importing country.
The following are some practical examples of what may constitute an illegal governmental barrier under the WTO agreements:

 1.  Complicated import licensing requirements, incompliant non-automatic import licensing,  excessively restrictive technical standards, excessively restrictive sanitary standards, and excessively restrictive environmental standards. 
2. Imposing a tax or a duty exclusively on an imported product while exempting products produced in the importing country. 
3. Levying a tax or a duty on an imported product in values higher than those levied on like products produced in the importing country. 
4. Subjecting an imported product to a tariff rate higher than those applied on imports originating in a different WTO member country.

5. Subjecting an imported product to illegal and unjustified quota-based entries. 
6. Subjecting an imported product to incompliant customs valuation procedures. 
7. Subjecting an imported product to tariff rates higher in value than the bound or applied tariff rates specified in importing country's schedule of tariff concessions. 
8. Imposing non-compliant and/or excessive dumping, countervailing, and safeguards duties on an imported product.  
9. Complicated customs clearance procedures.   

Al Armouti is a Leading Law firm in WTO practice Jordan | GCC | Egypt | Morocco Copyright ©? 2021, Al Armouti Lawyers & Consultants. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular matter. It does not constitute legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date. 

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