Market Access in Switzerland and in the European Union for Agricultural Products from Least Developed Countries

Häberli, Christian (1 July 2008). Market Access in Switzerland and in the European Union for Agricultural Products from Least Developed Countries (2008 5). NCCR Trade Regulation

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The introduction of the so-called “duty free quota free” treatment (DFQF) for all products from least developed countries (LDCs), in particular by the European Communities (EC) and by Switzerland, raised expectations of increased agricultural exports for these 49 countries. Despite the high tariff differential LDCs now enjoy over their competitors, especially for agricultural products and particularly in Switzerland, the results until 2007 are dismal: with the exception of sugar exports to the EC, LDCs have not been able to substantially increase their agricultural exports to Europe. This study analyses the result-ing tariff situation and the remaining non-tariff barriers. In many instances it is not cus-toms duties but the sanitary and phytosanitary barriers which turn out to be the single most important hurdle preventing trade. For instance, almost no LDC-based company can supply animal-based products. Similarly, certain private standards set by proces-sors and retailers prevent imports, particularly from LDCs, far more effectively than tar-iffs. Several gateways into this “European cordon sanitaire” are proposed. Only if offered in the context of a package of various carefully coordinated measures, DFQF could yet have a real impact on trade from LDCs. As it stands, this treatment constitutes only a nice-to-have but still largely ineffective instrument of trade development.

Item Type:

Working Paper


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Häberli, Christian


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation




NCCR Trade Regulation


[UNSPECIFIED] NCCR Trade Regulation




Christian Häberli

Date Deposited:

27 Aug 2014 16:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

Uncontrolled Keywords:

agriculture; dispute settlement; economic partnership agreements (EPA); European Union; gener-alised system of preferences (GSP); least developed countries; market access; private standards; sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS); Switzerland; World Trade Organization (WTO)




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