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Economy

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What are non-tariff barriers?

A non-tariff barrier is a policy implemented by a government that acts as a cost or impediment to trade. It is not tariffs on products but rather different rules and regulations that are often the biggest practical barrier to trade between countries. Examples of non-tariff barriers include rules on labelling and safety standards on products. Other types of non-tariff barriers to trade can also be the result of policies that differentiate between national and international companies and firms. For example, domestic subsidies by governments to a carmaker may help keep that manufacturer in their country. However, that acts as essentially an indirect non-tariff barrier to other car companies looking to compete. Governments are often likely to give preferential treatment to companies in their country when procuring contracts. This can be seen as an impediment to free and fair international trade.

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