The Strategist

Top 7 countries with the highest trade tariffs

10/12/2016 - 16:31

Globalization is losing its popularity all over the world. Political instability and growing nationalist movements are impeding conclusion of new international trade agreements. Now, all attention is drawn to Brexit consequences after 2019.

Phillip Ingham
Phillip Ingham
However, despite the general trend, trade tariffs between the developed economies remain relatively low.

The World Economic Forum has published its Global Competitiveness Report, which presents results of a study of the world economy and shows that protectionism is a policy of developing countries. The authors analyzed a variety of indicators, including corruption, inflation and political stability, to create a single picture for each individual country. One of the indicators was an average trade tariffs, i.e. customs duty, which is levied on imported goods.

Below are countries with the highest rates.

7. Cameroon

Tariff: 14.6%

Cameroon’s import tariffs range from 10% to 30% on most goods. Clothing, and silk and wool products are subject to a duty of 30%.

This year, the Government of Cameroon took up to implement temporary economic agreement with the European Union. The agreement involves mutual reduction of trade barriers, in particular, duty-free regime for goods from Cameroon, and quota-free access to the EU market.

Cameroon, in turn, will gradually open its markets to goods from the EU. The European Parliament approved the agreement with Cameroon in 2013, and authorities of the African Republic ratified it in 2014.

6. Zimbabwe

Tariff: 14.6%

Zimbabwe’s trade deficit reaches $ 3 billion. 49% of GDP fall on imports, and Less than 25% on exports.

There is a high level of corruption. According to Transparency International, Zimbabwe is losing at least $ 1 billion a year due to corruption, thriving among the police and high-ranking officials.

5. Pakistan

Tariff 16.6%

Import tariffs in Pakistan range from 0% to 35% on most goods. However, imported cars are subject to a higher rate of 65%. India and Pakistan are on the verge of a new military conflict, after last week's Indian Defense Ministry spread information on application of precision strikes on location of militants, who prepared to infiltrate into Kashmir.

In turn, Ministry of Defence of Pakistan said that the Indian side provoked a skirmish at the contact line, which killed two Pakistani militaries.

4. Nepal

Tariff: 16.8%

Customs duty in Nepal accounts for almost a fifth share of total tax revenues in the country, according to the government statistics. In 2015, the country was hit by a devastating earthquake. The country is still trying to cope with consequences of the disaster.

In particular, India and Nepal have signed an agreement on a credit line of $ 750 million for reconstruction after the catastrophe. 

3. Sri Lanka

Tariff: 17.6%

Most of the goods are free of customs duty of 15% when importing to Sri Lanka. However, tariffs on some products reach 100%.

2. Bhutan

Tariff: 22.7%

Bhutan imposes a 100% tax on foreign goods that are sold in the country, with the exception of beer.

1. Iran

Tariff: 28%

Gradually, Iran now is in process of normalization of relations with Western countries, particularly, the United States. Sanctions, including on the oil exports, were removed. However, rates in the country remain among the highest in the world.


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