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Non-Tariff Barriers and Goods Trade: a Brexit Impact Analysis


  • Byrne, Stephen

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Rice, Jonathan

    (Central Bank of Ireland)


This paper estimates the potential loss in trade between Ireland and the United Kingdom arising from increases in non-tariff barriers following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Using a difference gravity specification, we estimate a 9.6 per cent decline in trade flows between the UK and Ireland from an increase in border waiting times. This equates to a 1.4 per cent decline in total Irish exports and a 3.1 per cent decline in total Irish imports. We also present evidence of heterogeneity in the exposure (measured by time-sensitivity) across different types of goods, with beverages,fresh foods and raw materials being most exposed. For trade in fuels, chemicals and imperishable foods we do not find evidence of an effect from an increase in time.

Suggested Citation

  • Byrne, Stephen & Rice, Jonathan, 2018. "Non-Tariff Barriers and Goods Trade: a Brexit Impact Analysis," Research Technical Papers 6/RT/18, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:6/rt/18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
    2. Wen Chen & Bart Los & Philip McCann & Raquel Ortega‐Argilés & Mark Thissen & Frank van Oort, 2018. "The continental divide? Economic exposure to Brexit in regions and countries on both sides of The Channel," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(1), pages 25-54, March.
    3. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-2959, December.
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    5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael J. Ferrantino, 2006. "Quantifying the Trade and Economic Effects of Non-Tariff Measures," OECD Trade Policy Papers 28, OECD Publishing.
    7. Martina Lawless & Edgar L. W. Morgenroth, 2019. "The product and sector level impact of a hard Brexit across the EU," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 189-207, April.
    8. Swati Dhingra & Hanwei Huang & Gianmarco Ottaviano & João Paulo Pessoa & Thomas Sampson & John Van Reenen, 2017. "The costs and benefits of leaving the EU: trade effects," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 651-705.
    9. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    10. Dean Judith M & Signoret José E & Feinberg Robert M. & Ludema Rodney D. & Ferrantino Michael J, 2009. "Estimating the Price Effects of Non-Tariff Barriers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, March.
    11. Byrne, Stephen & O'Brien, Martin, 2015. "The Changing Nature of Irish Exports: Context, Causes and Consequences," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 58-72, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergin, Adele & Economides, Philip & Garcia-Rodriguez, Abian & Murphy, Gavin, 2019. "Ireland and Brexit: modelling the impact of deal and no-deal scenarios," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Conefrey, Thomas, 2018. "Irish Agriculture: Economic Impact and Current Challenges," Economic Letters 8/EL/18, Central Bank of Ireland.
    3. L´Hotellerie-Fallois, Pilar & Vergara Caffarelli, Filippo & Geeroms, Hans & de Almeida, Ana M. & Bisciari, Patrick & Byrne, Stephen & Campos, Rodolfo & Conefrey, Thomas & Cappariello, Rita & Damjanovi, 2020. "A review of economic analyses on the potential impact of Brexit," Occasional Paper Series 249, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item


    Brexit; Non-tariff Barriers; International Trade; Gravity Model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • R39 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other

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