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The role of non-tariff measures in EU dairy trade with Russia

Jan Pokrivcak, Siemen van Berkum, Lenka Drgova, Marian Mraz and Pavel Ciaian

Post-Communist Economies, 2013, vol. 25, issue 2, 175-189

Abstract: This article investigates Russian non-tariff measures (NTMs) on dairy products and their implications for EU dairy exports. Based on survey results, numerous and detailed Russian standards on imported dairy products are considered by respondents as redundant and unnecessary from a food safety perspective. Conformity assessment procedures are identified as a major problem when exporting to Russia. They are non-transparent, time-consuming and expose exporters to significant risk that their products may be refused entry at the Russian border. Audits by Russian inspectors seem to be subject to arbitrary rules and exporting companies face great uncertainty because of unclear and often changing rules. Both fixed and variable costs may increase due to Russian non-tariff measures, adding an estimated 5--10% of export value to costs. The gravity model estimates indicate that, after controlling for other variables, non-tariff measures are more restrictive on US exports to Russia than on EU exports to Russia, while New Zealand's exports to Russia are least affected by NTMs. Overall, the estimates do not confirm that Russia's NTMs are significantly more restrictive than is the case with other countries' NTMs. Although Russian standards for dairy imports are inhibiting trade they are not more restrictive than those implemented by other countries.

Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2013.787737

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