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          Trading with Conditions: The Effect of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on Lower Income Countries’ Agricultural Exports (English)
          Report by Murina, Marina; Nicita, Alessandro / UNCTAD, 2014, 22 pages
          Categories: Commodities, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

          Using the UNCTAD's TRAINS database on non-tariff measures, this paper utilizes an econometric model to investigate the effect of the European Union’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures across 21 broad categories of agricultural goods. The findings indicate that SPS measures result in relatively higher burdens for lower income countries but that membership in deep trade agreements seems to reduce the difficulties related to compliance with SPS measures. Overall, the additional trade distortionary effect of the European Union SPS measures is quantified in a reduction of lower income countries’ agricultural exports of about 3 billion $US (equivalent to about 14 percent of the agricultural trade from lower income countries to the European Union). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that while many middle and high income countries have the internal capacity to comply with SPS measures, lower income countries do not. In broader terms, these results may be interpreted as an indication that technical assistance is helpful for lower income countries to meet compliance costs related to SPS measures. Further progress with well-targeted technical assistance projects, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, could generate considerable gains for lower income countries.

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