Building capacity to help Africa trade better

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Tariff and non-tariff trade costs on intra-African agricultural trade

Tariff and non-tariff trade costs on intra-African agricultural trade
21 Feb 2020

Bilateral costs for trade in agricultural products include all costs involved in trading bilaterally between trade partners – the average tariff on the goods traded, as well as non-tariff costs such as transport costs, costs associated with completing trade procedures, and the time it takes to obtain the necessary information. 

In 2017, the highest average tariff trade costs for intra-Africa agricultural trade (excluding duty-free trade) were found in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Angola, Gabon and Tunisia. In terms of non-tariff trade costs, the countries with which intra-Africa agricultural trade was most costly were Namibia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and Benin.

The data shows that there is an inverse relationship between the value of bilateral intra-Africa agriculture trade and non-tariff trade costs: in most cases, high non-tariff trade costs are associated with low values of agriculture trade. Supply and demand factors explain some of the low values of trade, but also the distance between markets and the cost, quality and method of transportation between markets.

The relationship between the average tariff costs and value of trade in agricultural products follows a similar pattern, but is not quite as definitive. The data therefore suggests that for bilateral agriculture trade between specific trade partners, non-tariff issues are more significant barriers to trade than the cost of tariffs.

The bilateral costs for the trade in agricultural products reported in this infographic are sourced from the ESCAP-World Bank trade cost database

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