Trade barriers


Generally, there are two types of non-tariff barriers and tariff barriers.

In a broad sense, all kinds of artificial measures that hinder normal trade and interfere with the role of market competition mechanisms fall into the category of trade barriers. Such as import taxes or other tariffs with equivalent effects; various quantitative restrictions on commodity circulation; various discriminatory measures or practices between producers, buyers, or users (especially with regard to prices or trading conditions and Freight); various subsidies or special burdens imposed by the state; and various restrictive practices implemented to divide the scope of the market or seek additional profits, and so on.

The tariff liberalization, merchandise trade liberalization and labor trade barriers promoted by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, although great progress has been made in tariffs, have had little effect in other areas. Some forms of trade barriers have been weakened, while other forms of trade barriers have been strengthened. Instead, various new trade barriers have emerged one after another.

With the continuous increase of the membership of WTO and other international trade organizations and the establishment of various regional organizations, such as the North American Free Trade Area, tariff barriers to non-member countries of these two types of organizations are still playing a role. However, it is worth noting that the role of non-tariff barriers in the world is rising, or there is an upward trend. Some developed countries use their own technological advantages to require certification of products from other countries, which greatly hinders the export of manufactured products from underdeveloped and developing countries; instead, they can only produce some resource-based primary products. Intensified the economic and trade development gap between North and South.

In addition, the anti-dumping measures increasingly adopted by developed countries, as well as some sub-developed and even developing countries, are also one of the non-tariff barriers. As far as China is concerned, the quota and permit system also belong to the latter.

The so-called tariff barrier refers to a trade barrier formed by the customs set up by the government to impose tariffs on importers and exporters when import and export commodities pass through a country's customs border. According to the purpose of levying tariffs, there are two types of tariffs:

The first is fiscal tariffs, whose main purpose is to increase national fiscal revenue;

The second is to protect tariffs, whose main purpose is It is to protect the country's economic development and impose high tariffs on the import of foreign goods. The higher the protective tariff, the greater the protective effect, and it even actually amounts to a ban on imports.


refers to trade barriers created by all import restrictions except tariffs, which can be divided into direct restrictions and indirect restrictions.

Direct restriction refers to certain measures taken by the importing country to directly restrict the quantity or amount of imported goods, such as import quota system, import license system, foreign exchange control, minimum import price, etc.

Indirect restriction is to restrict the import of goods indirectly through the establishment of strict rules and regulations on imported goods, such as discriminatory government procurement policies, strict technical standards, health and safety regulations, inspection and packaging, and labeling regulations And various other mandatory technical regulations.

Measures implemented or supported by foreign (or regional) governments that have one of the following circumstances are regarded as trade barriers:

l. Violation of the country (or region) and China A multilateral trade treaty or a bilateral trade agreement signed with China;

2. It constitutes or may constitute a market for Chinese products or services to enter the country (or region) market or a third country (or region) market Unreasonable hindrance or restriction;

3. Cause or may cause unreasonable damage to the competitiveness of Chinese products or services in the country (or region) market or the third country (or region) market.

Foreign (or regional) governments failing to fulfill their obligations under multilateral trade treaties with China or bilateral trade agreements signed with China are also regarded as trade barriers. [ Including customs clearance restrictions, domestic taxes and fees, import bans, import licenses, etc.);

Technical regulations, product standards, conformity assessment procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures lacking scientific basis;

Unreasonable anti-dumping, countervailing, safeguard measures and other trade remedy measures;

The practice of restricting imported products in violation of relevant rules in government procurement; export restrictions; subsidies;

access to service trade And business restrictions;

unreasonable trade-related intellectual property rights measures;

other trade barriers, etc.


Tariff barriers, also known as tariff measures, refer to measures that hinder imports in terms of tariff setting, tax calculation methods and tariff management. Common tariff barriers have several forms: tariffs (specific tariffs, ad valorem tariffs, selective tariffs, mixed tariffs), tariff peaks, tariff escalation, tariff quotas, and special tariffs (additional tariffs).

1. In terms of tariff reduction (tariffreduction), for example, WTO members did not make reductions in accordance with the level of reduction promised in the country's reduction schedule.

2. In terms of tariff classification (tariffclassification), for example, customs officials have too much discretion when categorizing imported products, making it difficult for importers to foresee the tariffs that will be applied to the same imported product in the future.

3. Tariff peaks (tariffpeaks) in spite of the tariff reduction levels stipulated in the tariff reduction schedule, still maintain high tariffs in specific product areas.

4. Tariff quotas (tariffquotas) apply lower tariff rates to imported products within a certain amount (quota amount), and higher tariff rates apply to imported products that exceed the quota amount. In practice, inappropriate practices in the process of determining, issuing, and managing quotas often become trade barriers. Trade in goods: non-tariff barriers abuse the following measures, which often create barriers to trade in goods: import licensing, export licensing, import quotas, import prohibitions, technical barriers, and export restrictions. (Exportrestrictions) government procurement (governmentprocurement) subsidies (subsidies) voluntary export restrictions (voluntaryexportrestraints) local content regulations (domestic content regulations) state-controlled import and export trade (the operations of import State Trading Enterprises) sanitary and phytosanitary measures (sanitary and phyto sanitary measures) anti-dumping, countervailing, and safeguard measures Other trade remedy measures (anti-dumping, countervailing, safeguards and other trade remedy measures)

Measures that hinder trade-related investment

1. Restrictions on the scope of investment access (accessrestrictions)

2. Tax Discrimination (taxdiscrimination)

3. Foreign ownership restrictions (foreignownership restrictions)

Measures to hinder trade in services

1. Access restrictions (accessrestrictions)

2. Foreign ownership restrictions (foreignownershiprestrictions)

Measures that hinder trade-related intellectual property rights: insufficient protection of intellectual property rights, etc.

According to the manifestations of trade barriers, trade barriers can be divided into the following four types:

1. Legislation: stipulating trade barriers in the form of laws, regulations and regulations;

2. Administrative decisions (administrative decisions): stipulate trade barriers in the form of administrative decisions, administrative orders, and instructions;

3. Policy and public opinion (policyorconsensus): The government adopts or supports policies and public opinion propaganda to influence the nationals of the country, such as using domestic products, discriminating against imported products, etc.;

4. Practices: For example, inappropriate and frequent use of anti-dumping measures in a short period of time, local protectionism, corruption, bureaucracy, etc.

Beverage bottle case

In 1981, the Danish government decided that all beer and soda must be sold in recyclable bottles. The background of this decision is: the traditional well-functioning glass recycling system is threatened by the increasing number of non-recyclable beer bottles and other container bottles. The Commission of the European Communities believes that the law adds higher costs to imported goods than Danish goods, and thus constitutes a trade barrier that hinders the free flow of goods within the Union. In 1986 the European Community Arbitration Court accepted this case.

The Community Commission claimed that Danish law violated the basic regulations that a certain kind of goods can automatically flow through countries within the Community once they are sold in a country. Although the flow of overseas containers and bottles is not directly prohibited, foreign cargo suppliers are facing greater difficulties in constructing reusable bottle processing systems. The Committee believes that the law discriminates against foreign manufacturers. The committee also believes that the law cannot be equivalent to environmental benefits, and that other methods can also be adopted to adequately protect the environment, such as voluntary collection systems and recycling methods.

In September 1988, a court ruling allowed Denmark to retain its mandatory container reuse laws. The court confirmed that with environmental protection as the starting point, exceptions to the general rule of free movement of goods are allowed. If the European Union does not include a special funded law in a particular field, it will cause trade chaos due to different laws and regulations adopted by different countries. The court held that it is necessary to use recyclable beverage packaging in order to ensure a high recovery rate of beverage packaging, so that this regulation and the target are in an "appropriate ratio".

However, the Danish requirements for the approval of the types of containers and bottles were not passed. After 1984, the goods of foreign producers must be contained in bottles produced or approved by Denmark (only used during the inspection phase of the goods and limited in quantity). The motivation for implementing the container bottle approval regulations is that if there are many types of containers on the market, it is impossible to establish an effective recycling system. The variety of types can be controlled by controlling the types of bottles.

The court found that although recycling containers and bottles does not guarantee the maximum level of recycling, it does protect the environment. As a result of the court ruling, few beverages were imported into Denmark. So the court found that the environmental benefits obtained from the mandatory approval of bottle types were not in proportion to the huge losses of foreign suppliers.

New type

Green trade

Green trade barriers refer to environmental (non-tariff) barriers, which are the Health and safety, and

to adopt laws, regulations and policy measures that directly or indirectly restrict or even prohibit the import and export of certain commodities. The essence is that developed countries rely on their scientific and technological personnel and environmental protection level, through legislative means, formulate strict mandatory technical standards, so as to shut out products from developing countries.

In 2000, the United Nations launched the "Global Compact" plan; in 2010, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued the "Guidelines for International Standards for Social Responsibility" (ISO26000).

As of the end of 2011, 36 countries have transformed international social responsibility standards into national standards. With the gradual differentiation of traditional trade barriers, the role of tariffs, quotas, licenses and other barriers has gradually weakened, and new forms of trade barriers with green trade barriers as the core have continued to develop. The trade environment for export-oriented processing companies in the Pearl River Delta is facing a new challenge.

In the "Work Plan for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan" released by the state, the target task for controlling greenhouse gas emissions in Guangdong is clearly decomposed to reduce the carbon intensity by 19.5% during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period. The highest among all provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) in the country.

In January 2011, Guangdong Province issued the "Guangdong Province's Climate Change Program", which proposed that by 2015, we will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by about 35% compared with 2005;

to In 2020, we will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by more than 45% compared with 2005, which shows that enterprises are working hard to practice energy conservation and consumption reduction. At the same time, with the improvement of the carbon exchange trading rules, the existing buildings have high energy consumption levels, rapid growth momentum, and slow progress in energy-saving renovation, and actively explored the progress in promoting Guangdong to stay in the forefront of energy-saving and emission reduction in the country. It is of great significance.

Technical trade

Technical trade barriers are the main manifestations of non-tariff barriers, which refer to the technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures formulated by the importing country that constitute trade barriers to foreign imports. . That is, through the promulgation of laws, regulations, technical standards, certification systems, inspection systems, etc., strict regulations on technical indicators, health and quarantine, commodity packaging and labeling, etc. are formulated to eventually achieve the purpose or effect of restricting imports. This restriction or hindrance Imported technical measures are technical barriers to trade.

Labor Standards

Labor Standard Barriers: Labor standards mainly include: abolition of forced labor; prohibiting the export of reform-through-labor products; prohibiting the use and exploitation of child labor; non-discriminatory wage levels and equal pay for equal work; Implement a minimum wage standard to ensure the minimum wage level of workers; workers have the right to free association and collective bargaining. Some developed countries try to solve the labor problem and trade together, in order to reduce the labor cost advantage of developing countries.


The emergence and strengthening of trade barriers is not accidental. It is the product of the continuous development of international economy, society, and technology. The main reasons for the analysis of the new trade barriers are the following points.

1. With social progress and the increasing living standards of people in developed countries, people’s awareness of safety and health is unprecedentedly enhanced, and they are increasingly concerned about the impact of products on physical health and safety. As a result, new trade barriers with health, safety and hygiene as the main content in international trade are becoming more and more important. increase.

2. With the improvement of environmental protection awareness, the concept of sustainable development has taken root in the hearts of the people, and people are more and more concerned about the sustainable development of the earth and society on which they depend, so they require

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