Customs duties on merchandise imports are called tariffs. Tariffs give a price advantage to locally-produced goods over similar goods which are imported, and they raise revenues for governments. One result of the Uruguay Round was countries’ commitments to cut tariffs and to “bind” their customs duty rates to levels which are difficult to raise. The current negotiations under the Doha Agenda continue efforts in that direction in agriculture and non-agricultural market access.
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News back to top
Introduction back to top
Information on tariffs
in “Understanding the WTO”
- Information on tariffs and market access for agriculture
The mandate back to top
The original mandate: GATT article XXVIII bis (GATT 1947)
mandate: Paras. 16, 50, and 31 (iii)
Mandate under the July
Package, 1 August 2005. See
access in Annex A
agricultural market access in Annex B.
Schedules of market access
commitments on goods by WTO Members
- There is no legally binding agreement that sets out the targets for tariff reductions. Instead, individual members of the WTO have listed their commitments to cut and bind tariffs on goods schedules that are part of the Uruguay Round Agreements. Additional commitments were made under the 1997 Information Technology Agreement.
Get Tariff Data back to top
Data on WTO members' tariffs are of two types:
Bound rates (the ceiling rates as listed in members’ “schedules” or lists of commitments)
Applied rates (the rates members currently charge, which can be lower than the bound rates).
WTO tariff databases contain both bound and applied rates. Options for accessing and searching the databases can be found here.
Work on tariffs in the WTO back to top
- Negotiations under the Doha Agenda
- Non-agricultural market access (NAMA)
- Agricultural market access and tariff reduction methods
Committee on Market Access
Agriculture: notifications on
current tariff quotas
- Committee of Participants on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products
Disputes back to top
Publications on tariffs back to top
Comprehensive tariff data on the WTO website
WTO Discussion Papers
— No. 1: Industrial
Tariffs and the Doha Development Agenda
WTO World Trade
Report 2003 — CH IIA The Role of trade and trade policy in the development
WTO World Trade
Report 2004 — CH IB Selected Issues in Trade and Trade Policy
- Tariff information available in the Secretariat
Statistics on tariffs/customs duties back to top
Statistics database — information on tariffs/customs duties by country.
Click “Trade profiles”, then “Selection” in left column. Choose the countries that interest you and click “Continue” to see details of tariff binding coverage, MFN tariffs and MFN duty free imports.
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