Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 375
Quantifying the Effect of Non-tariff Measures and Food Safety Standards on India’s Fish and Fishery Products’ Exports
Veena Renjini K K
Global food trade, especially in the processed form like ready-to-eat items, tends to increase with an increase in global income with more demand emanating from the developed world. However, to trade with the developed world, national standards need to be elevated to international standards. It would also save the trade-image of the country. Under a multilateral trading system with a progressive reduction in tariffs, Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) appear overwhelming. The issue here is that although India’s fishery sector enjoys a comparative advantage, blessed as it has been with its natural factor endowment, the food safety standards and other requirements imposed by the importing countries are major impediments to its growth. International trade in the fisheries sector is dominated by A, B and C classification of NTMs including SPS, TBT and Pre-Shipment inspections. In bilateral trade relations, it is reflected in the across-the-border rejection of consignments. This calls for a scrutiny of the underlying causes hampering the compliance challenge. Using the inventory method of frequency indexing and a gravity exercise for quantifying trade effects, this study brings forth the trade restrictive nature of NTMs.