The Measures and the loss - Case Study on non-tariff barriers related to veterinary export certificates in Dutch exports

Case study research into the mandatory veterinary requirements on Dutch exports of live animals and animal products provides empirical evidence on the trade effects of nontariff measures (NTMs). The paper discusses the analytical approach to assess how veterinary health attestation may create (temporary) obstacles for Dutch exports, what these obstacles are, and whether competing exporters in EU countries have encountered similar barriers. We have a dataset on 166 cases in 2004-06 where the process of issuing veterinary certificates for Dutch exports to non- EU destinations was disrupted. Products covered are animal-based products, live animals and feed. We use a sample of 30 cases that continued after 2006, the ‘longlasting problems’, and 39 cases that came up and got solved between 2004 and 2006, the temporary problems. The main challenge is to link the available record of recognition problems to the disruptions in exports. In order to assess trade disruptions, statistical tests of outliers and trend breaches are performed on detailed monthly trade data, and the issue of not-observed trade needs to be addressed. This raises the need to address disruption patterns around the imposition of measures in trade. The alternative patterns under examination are (i) measures that have an immediate trade impact, (ii) measures due to which trade gradually expands or reduces, and (iii) measures that divert trade to alternative export destinations. Finally, we want to examine whether the impact of veterinary health attestation on trade can be specified towards the type of trade barrier. For that, we suggest to introduce a distinction between three different types of barriers, based on whether obstacles relate to the non-conformity of products to import requirements or a failure in the conformity assessment or both.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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