Within the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), the World Trade Organization allows member countries to adopt measures in order to protect human, animal and plant health as well as the environment, wildlife and human safety. These nontariff barriers (NTBs) may play an important role in the course of international trade negotiations; developing countries regularly protest against the increasing use of NTBs by developed countries for protectionist purposes. The statistical analysis of the impact of SPS and TBT measures on agricultural trade shows that they may have a significant negative impact on the imports of OECD countries, even if they also lead to normalisation and certification, which makes trade-flows easier. The assessments by groups of exporting countries show that trade flows between developed countries are not affected in a significant way by technical, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations but that these are a major obstacle to the exports of developing countries towards developed countries.


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