Something fishy in seafood trade? The relation between tariff and non-tariff barriers

Kathy Baylis, Lia Nogueira, Linlin Fan, Kathryn Pace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As importing countries honor trade agreements to lower tariff rates, traditional tariff barriers may be replaced with non-tariff barriers. Previous literature has found that the implementation of food safety standards, specifically the use of import notifications and rejections, has acted as a significant barrier to trade in both the EU and the US. This article estimates the relation between a change in tariff rates and the use of non-tariff barriers, measured by a count of EU seafood import notifications. We find that when trade agreements generate a decrease in tariffs, we observe an increase in the number of import notifications, holding trade volume constant. This effect is strongest for those products that are rejected at the border for less threatening health reasons. Although we see clear evidence that non-tariff barriers are responding to health risks, they also appear to be correlated with demand for protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1656-1678
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • European Union
  • import notifications
  • non-tariff barriers
  • seafood
  • tariffs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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