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Non-harmonised Mandatory Standards as Non-Tari Barriers: Experience from Japanese Imports

Time:2017-03-20 08:34:31  Hits:[]

The WTO TBT agreement has been promoting a harmonisation of national standards with relevant international standards worldwide since 1995. Such a harmonisation of the standards may reduce trade costs stem from the differences between national standards across countries, and then would facilitate international trade. Although the standards are voluntary by definition, some national standards are mandatory since mandatory statutes in home country require all producers to adopt one or more specific national standards for the products distributed in the home market. Accordingly, if national standards are mandatory and not harmonized with international standards, such standards function as non-tariff barriers to trade in the home country. In this paper, we empirically examine the effects of the standards harmonisation and the mandatory standards on international trade flows, especially the emergence of newly imported products in Japan. Our results suggest that nonharmonised national standards with mandatory statutes deter new entrants from foreign countries to home market. This empirical study is not possible without our new concordance between international standards and HS 6-digit products.
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