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In the past, international wine trade experienced a significant increase mainly due to the growth in demand in northern Europe and the USA. Since the beginning of the new millennium, new import markets are developing, where market access is hampered by tariff and non-tariff barriers. As a result of this change, the problem of trade barriers and their phasing out takes on a new centrality. The objective of this paper is to analyse trade barriers and to discuss the new path of trade liberalization process. The paper first provides an overview of main trends in wine international trade and of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Subsequently, it offers an analysis of the main initiatives designed to lower trade barriers, depicting the results achieved by the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) and preferential trade agreements (PTAs) signed by the main wine exporters. Thirdly, it presents a reclassification of exports allowing a quantitative assessment of the flows more at risk of being hindered by trade barriers, considering trade within Regional Integrated Areas and within the WWTG countries. Compared with the importance of the topic, literature on tariff and non-tariff barriers to wine trade is still quite limited. The current work intends to contribute to a better comprehension of the global situation by framing the issues in a qualitative and quantitative matter. Results may be useful as a basis for policy makers and traders, and foster further academic investigations.


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