What are non-tariff regulations?


Non-tariff or non-tariff barrier regulations are mechanisms used unilaterally and arbitrarily by governments to control and restrict the entry of goods from abroad, in order to protect domestic market.

To talk about regulations in the world of foreign logistics is to talk about a number of rules and formalities that we must take into account, not only the economic part but also the documentary that each of our operations must comply with.

When conducting international transactions we may encounter certain obstacles to sell in other countries that you need to know, some are naturally given such as geographical restrictions but there are others that are created from artificially by each country's trade and protectionist policies.

Let us remember a little about what tariff barriers are: taxes (tariffs) to be paid by importers and exporters at the customs office of entry and exit of goods.

Non-tariff barriers

Non-tariff barriers are those regulations of a country's international trade that are not based on the payment of monetary taxes, but use compliance with laws, rules and rules to do so. Tariff barriers are divided into two types:

Quantitative non-tariff barriers

They refer to the quantities or quantities of product that are traded.


It is the determination or limitation of the number of units (as the case may be) that can be imported from any origin or from a particular country, for a set period of time.

Minimum reference prices

It is the determination of a minimum price with which the product can enter the country. It is used to regulate the entry of foreign items that are considered to have a lower cost than the domestic produced body (thus preventing the latter from being disadvantaged).

Import and export permits

They are governmental authorizations to import or export from the country an established quantity of units of the product, with the intention of having full control over its marketing.

Compensatory fee

It is an import duty in addition to the tariff imposed as a defence measure against the use of unfair trade practices, whether in its two modalities; price discrimination or price subsidy.


It refers to compliance with rules that have to do with the properties of the good in question

Labeling regulations

They refer to the information that clothing must provide to the consumer (guarantee, components, care instructions, producer data, marketer data, origin) and languages in which that information should be provided.

Packaging and packaging regulations

They regulate minimum or maximum size and weight in packaging, the materials that make up it and the correct use of the international symbology used in trade.

Technical regulations

They refer to officially set technical standards and which must be met as a minimum requirement (applicable for example to industrial protective clothing).

Quality regulations

It is about the obligation to have quality certifications (ISO or some other)

Toxicity regulations

About the content of agents that can potentially be harmful to health in used materials.

Country of origin marking

Sometimes there are particular rules on the standardization of clear identification of the country of origin of the product.

Green regulations

These are standards that must be complied with with respect to the use of recyclable materials, not harmful to the environment or components in products that respect the biological environment.

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