Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

A. Stutzer:

Towards free trade for agricultural goods - The allocation of tariff rate quotas using an average tariff procedure


The GATT agreement of 1994 on agriculture requires the tariffication of nontariff import barriers. It is allowed to import an unrestricted quantity if the resulting high tariff rates are paid. In addition, the countries define tariff rate quotas which guarantee imports at a reduced rate. The result is a two-stage tariff rate system. The quotas are allocated administratively or auctioned off: The effective burden of the imports lies above the contracted tariff-burden: Importers get rents or auction prices are paid to the state. With the here suggested average tariffprocedure the total burden is consistent with the WTO-agreement. Additionally, the allocation method leads to lower marginal tariffs improving the consumers lot. The procedure reduces the financial interest of the state in the two-stage tariff rates. The achievement of these goals is a challenge for the agriculture contract to be negotiated starting in 2000.

Key words:  tariff rate quota, average tariff procedure, agricultural trade GATT agreement on agriculture.