IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Tariff-only Import Regime for Bananas in the European Union: Setting the Tariff at Right Level is Impossible Mission


  • Guyomard, Herve
  • Le Mouel, Chantal
  • Levert, Fabrice


On 29 November 2005, the European Union (EU) unilaterally introduced a tariff of 176 per tonne to apply from 1 January 2006 to bananas imported from countries enjoying the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. The new EU trade policy includes a duty-free annual import quota of 775,000 tonnes for bananas originating from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. This regime replaces the very complex and highly contested tariff-rate quota policy in place in the EU between 1993 and 2005. However, the banana international trade war very likely has not come to an end. Several Latin American countries have announced their intention to challenge the new EU trade policy by initiating a new WTO complaint. In this paper, we first propose an analysis of the two WTO arbitration awards that ruled against the initial EU tariff proposals. We show that the arbitrators' awards are incomplete notably because they do not explain why CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) import unit values in the EU-15 from MFN suppliers are much higher than FOB (Free on Board) export unit values in corresponding MFN countries adjusted by all relevant costs that should theoretically be added to transform FOB into CIF prices. One plausible explanation to this apparent paradox is that reported CIF prices include at least part of quota rents generated by the tariff-rate quota policy. On this basis, we analyse the impacts of different MFN tariff levels on EU banana imports under contrasting hypotheses regarding, first whether the price gap between CIF and FOB unit values does include at least part of quota rents, second whether banana exports to the EU from Western African ACP countries were constrained under the previous regime where a specific import quota were reserved to ACP countries. We also analyse the consequences of an "augmented" tariff-only import regime including a MFN tariff and a duty-free import quota for ACP bananas.

Suggested Citation

  • Guyomard, Herve & Le Mouel, Chantal & Levert, Fabrice, 2006. "The Tariff-only Import Regime for Bananas in the European Union: Setting the Tariff at Right Level is Impossible Mission," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25773, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25773

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Swinbank, Alan, 1996. "Capping the CAP? Implementation of the Uruguay round agreement by the European union," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 393-407.
    2. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Guyomard, Herve & Le Mouel, Chantal, 2003. "The New Banana Import Regime in the European Union: A Quantitative Assessment," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 4(2).
    4. Read, Robert, 2001. "The Anatomy of the EU-US WTO Banana Trade Dispute," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 2(2).
    5. Anania, Giovanni, 2006. "The 2005 episodes of the "banana war" serial. An empirical assessment of the introduction by the European Union of a tariff-only import regime for bananas," Working Papers 18854, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Anania, Giovanni, 2010. "EU Economic Partnership Agreements and WTO negotiations. A quantitative assessment of trade preference granting and erosion in the banana market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 140-153, April.
    2. Valenciano, Jaime de Pablo & Battistuzzi, Miguel Angel Giacinti & Azcaráte, Tomás García, 0. ""Banana War" And World Trade Changes," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 3.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25773. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.