Liberalization of Euro-Mediterranean trade: customs tariffs are not the main obstacle to European fruit and vegetable imports

While the liberalization of trade in industrial products is well underway, access to the market in the agricultural sector still remains limited. The issues of agricultural trade liberalization vary from one side of the Mediterranean to the other. For Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, the two main issues are the protection of the basic market products and the improvement in access to the European market for export produce, namely fruit and vegetables. European producers fear an exacerbation of Mediterranean competition in this same sector, sensitive to crises and with relatively little support from the Common Agricultural Policy. The issue of access to the European market for Mediterranean fruit and vegetables is all the more sensitive in that the EU is the main market for horticultural export from these countries. An analysis of the tariff protections applied by the EU to fruit and vegetable imports reveals that Mediterranean countries already enjoy a high level of preference on the European market compared with other exporting countries. Additionally, the estimation of an econometrical model shows that customs protection is not the only trade determinant. Tariff reduction appears to be far from eliminating all the obstacles to trade.

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Journal Article
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ISSN : 1778-4379 (Other)
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INRA Sciences Sociales, 2009
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