AgriFood-Report 2011:1

The impact of tariffs on EU agricultural imports

Authors: Cecilia Hammarlund 

EU tariffs on agricultural commodities are still high, especially in comparison with tariffs on industrial goods. The average tariff for EU imports of agricultural commodities covered by the WTO Agreement on Agriculture was 12 percent for the period 1995-2007, while the average tariff for industrial goods was 4.4 percent in 2004.

The report finds that imports would increase substantially if tariffs are reduced, especially for vegetables and fruit, and to a lesser extent for meat, milk and eggs. For instance imports of vegetables would increase on average by 9.7 percent if tariffs are reduced by one percent. The smallest effects are found on imports of cereals, a tariff reduction of one percent would increase imports by merely 1.4 percent.

In addition to evaluating the impact of tariffs, border effects between countries are also estimated in the report. The results indicate that trade across borders is very costly. A part of this is due to tariffs but trade is also affected by costs that are difficult to define and measure.

The report is written in Swedish but has an English summary.

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