What is a Non-Tariff Barrier?

Non-tariff barriers can be any kind of ‘red tape’ or trade rules that unjustifiably restrict the flow of goods and services. They can appear as policies that restrict imports and may be contrary to the rules of international trade. Such policies can include animal and plant health requirements that are not based on science, non-transparent or inconsistently applied product or packaging standards, or competition and government procurement policies that are in breach of trade agreements. In relation to services exports and exporters, excessively onerous process and procedural conditions and some unnecessarily burdensome domestic regulatory requirements are examples of such barriers.

Non-tariff barriers can occur either at the border, where products or services are permitted to enter an overseas market, or behind the border, where products or services are traded within overseas markets. Non-tariff barriers are increasingly influencing who trades what and where, and posing new challenges for governments and businesses alike. 

At the Border

At the Border

Importing country certification

Biosecurity requirements


Border and customs delays

Product labelling and packaging standards

Behind the Border

Behind the Border

Red tape

Regulatory rules

Price controls

Local ownership rules

Foreign work requirements

Implementation of requirements

Data storage and privacy requirements


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    Find out how the Australian Government is tackling non-tariff trade barriers to open market opportunities for exporters.

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