Types of Nontariff Measures in Agricultural Trade
The overall objective of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947 was to restore orderly conditions in international commerce following the trade disorders of the 1930s and the subsequent hostilities. Of the more explicit purposes, the main one was to reduce tariffs, but another was to prevent governments from whittling away the benefits of tariff reductions through the use of nontariff methods of protection. A basic inventory of nontariff measures was compiled by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Secretariat after the Kennedy Round of multilateral trade negotiations which was concluded in 1967. The nontariff measures which are most frequently used to control agricultural imports are: quotas and related restrictions; variable import levies; and health and sanitary regulations. Quantitative restrictions are the most important measures available to governments for the control of trade in agricultural products and for discrimination between markets.