Environmental Regulations as Trade Barriers for Developing Countries: Eco-labelling and the Dutch cut fower industry
The present expansion of environmental standards and regulations in industrialised countries can have significant impacts on the market access of developing countries. The fear in many developing countries is that stricter product standards in the markets of developed countries will act as trade barriers for their exports. Moreover, there is widespread suspicion that environmental restrictions are sometimes used as an indirect means of protecting northern industries. This paper briefly examines these issues, focusing on recent eco-labelling schemes for cut flowers in the Netherlands. The paper concludes that eco-labels may have a significant negative impact on the export opportunities of a number of developing countries.