Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures in agri-food imports from the European Union: Reputation effects over time

Ibtissem Taghouti, Víctor Martínez-Gómez, Luisa Marti


The EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed provides information on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) notifications. With a set of data from the 1998-2013 period, we test the hypothesis that past notifications can determine current notifications. This is the “reputation effect”, meaning that inspectors may tend to target products or countries with previous SPS problems. We analyze the scope of the reputation effect over time. We used two count data models to estimate the distribution of current notifications. In line with previous literature, our findings indicate that reputation does affect current EU notifications. Furthermore, we identify some relevant exporter countries for which reputation is long-lasting.


Agri-food trade; Count models; RASFF; Reputation effect; SPS measures

Subject classification

F13, F14, Q17, Q18.

Full Text:



Bagwell, K. and Staiger, R. (2001). Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, and International Economic Institutions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116(2): 519-562.

Burger, M., van Oort, F. and Linders, G. (2009). On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-inflated Estimation. Spatial Economic Analysis, 4(2): 167-190.

Cadot, O., Malouche, M. and Sáez, S. (2012). Streamlining Non-Tariff Measures: A Toolkit for Policy Makers. World Bank Publications.

Cameron, A. and Trivedi, P. (2010). Microeconometrics using Stata. College Station, Tex.: Stata.

Cameron, A. and Trivedi, P. (2013). Regression Analysis of Count Data (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 16/2011 of 10 January 2011 laying down implementing measures for the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed Text with EEA relevance.

Copeland, B. (1990). “Strategic Interaction among Nations: Negotiable and Non- Negotiable Trade Barriers”. The Canadian Journal of Economics, 23(1): 84.

Dal Bianco, A., Boatto, V., Caracciolo, F. and Santeramo, F. (2015). “Tariffs and non-tariff frictions in the world wine trade”. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 43(1): 31-57.

Disdier, A., Fontagné, L. and Cadot, O. (2015). “North-South Standards Harmonization and International Trade”. The World Bank Economic Review, 29(2): 327-352.

Ederington, J. (2001). “International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies”. American Economic Review, 91(5): 1580-1593.

Fontagné, L., Mimouni, M. and Pasteels, J. (2005). “Estimating The Impact Of Environmental SPS And TBT On International Trade”. Integration and Trade Journal, 22(9): 7-37.

Greene, W. (1994). Accounting for excess zeros and sample selection in Poisson and negative binomial regression models. Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, USA.

Henson, S. and Jaffee, S. (2008). “Understanding Developing Country Strategic Responses to the Enhancement of Food Safety Standards”. The World Economy, 31(4): 548-568.

Jaud, M., Cadot, O. and Suwa-Eisenmann, A. (2013). “Do food scares explain supplier concentration? An analysis of EU agri-food imports”. European Review Of Agricultural Economics, 40(5): 873-890.

Jouanjean, M., Maur, J. and Shepherd, B. (2012). “Reputation Matters: Spillover Effects in the Enforcement of US SPS Measures. Non-Tariff Measures”. In A Fresh Look at Trade Policy’s New Frontier (1st Ed.). The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The World Bank. NW, Washington, USA.

Jouanjean, M., Maur, J. and Shepherd, B. (2015). “Reputation matters: Spillover effects for developing countries in the enforcement of US food safety measures”. Food Policy, 55: 81-91.

Kallummal, M., Gupta, A. and Varma, P. (2013). “Exports of Agricultural Products from South-Asia and Impact of SPS Measures: A Case Study of European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)”. Journal of Economic Policy & Research, 8(2): 41-75.

Kleter, G., Prandini, A., Filippi, L. and Marvin, H. (2009). “Identification of potentially emerging food safety issues by analysis of reports published by the European Community’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) during a four-year period”. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 47(5): 932-950.

Lambert, D. (1992). “Zero-Inflated Poisson Regression, with an Application to Defects in Manufacturing”. Technometrics, 34(1): 1.

Mahe, L. (1997). “Environment and quality standards in the WTO: New protectionism in agricultural trade? A European perspective”. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 24(3-4): 480-503.

RASFF. (2013). The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, 2013 Annual Report.

Soriano, B. and Garrido, A. (2015). “The role of private sector in development: The relation between public-private investment in infrastructure and agricultural exports in developing countries”. Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, 15(2): 93-117.

Taghouti, I., Martinez-Gomez, V. and Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, J. (2015). “Exploring EU food safety notifications on agro-food imports: Are Mediterranean Partner Countries discriminated?” International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics, 3(2): 15-29.

Tudela-Marco, L., Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, J. M. and Martí-Selva, L. (2016). “Do EU Member States Apply Food Standards Uniformly? A Look at Fruit and Vegetable Safety Notifications”. Journal of Common Market Studies.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD. (2015). International classification of Non-Tariff Measures, 2012 Version. United Nations.

Vuong, Q. (1989). “Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-Nested Hypotheses. Econometrica, 57(2): 307.

Yue, C. and Beghin, J. (2009). Tariff Equivalent and Forgone Trade Effects of Prohibitive Technical Barriers to Trade”. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 91(4): 930-941.

Zeileis, A., Kleiber, C. and Jackman, S. (2008). “Regression Models for Count Data in R”. Journal of Statistical Software, 27(8).

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

 Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 2174-7350   ISSN: 1578-0732