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The importance of EU-15 borders for CEECs agri-food exports: The role of tariffs and non-tariff measures in the pre-accession period

Chevassus-Lozza, Emmanuelle, Latouche, Karine, Majkovic, Darja, Unguru, Manuela
Food policy 2008 v.33 no.6 pp. 595-606
European Union, market access, agribusiness, foods, exports, tariffs, product quality standards, trade policy, integration (economics), trade liberalization, agricultural policy, trade barriers, international trade, Central European region, Eastern European region
This paper assesses the evolution of the EU-15 market access for the agri-food products, originating from CEECs. A gravity model technique has been used to assess the overall trade resistance (border effect), and to weight its various components such as tariff and non-tariff measures (sanitary and phytosanitary standards, other quality measures) in the pre-accession period (1999-2004). The findings reveal, despite the undertaken integration and trade liberalisation processes, a persisting and significant trade resistance for the CEECs' agri-food exports to the EU market, even just prior their accession in 2004. Still present difficulties in market access at the time are partially explained by tariff and non-tariff measures, while a large part of border effect remains in the domain of other, presumably non-trade policy related factors (home bias, consumer preferences, etc.). These results indicate that despite the accession process (customs union and adoption of the EU standards), the trade integration of the enlarged EU market was not yet completed in 2004.