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Trade in Goods

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Chapter Summary

The duty raised on goods crossing borders is called a customs duty, or tariff. While the fiscal function of tariffs plays only a minor role in most countries, the protective function is still of significance: customs duties are still a fundamental instrument for protection. The aim of binding these defined and changeable customs duties as well as their gradual reduction were central elements of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947. After the coming into force of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement, the permanent lowering of customs duties remains - under the catchword of market access - one of the significant concessiorns of the WTO. The customs classification and valuation rules make demands on national administrations which have not yet been fulfilled by all WTO Members. The shipment inspection includes inspection and control of products in the exporting country, before they are transported to the importing country.

Keywords: customs valuation rules; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); market access; preshipment inspection; tariff classification; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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