Food Safety Regulations and Export Responses of Developing Countries: Lessons from South Africa and Namibia’s Fresh and Frozen Fish Exports to European Union




  • Shingirirai Mashura
  • Albert Makochekanwa

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Food safety regulations are attaining more prominence as trade regulation tools in the international arena. The effects of these standards on trade performance are three-fold: trade impeding effects, catalyst effects, and neutral effects. While various researches confirm the trade impeding effect of regulations, the more pessimistic view confirms the catalyst effect that is due to scale effect. This study outlines the relationship between food safety regulations and export performance by investigating the changes in exports from South Africa and Namibia to the European Union (EU) trade partners once the EU regulations were put into effect, drawing policy implications in terms of food safety-export performance nexus. The empirical results confirm the trade impeding at both aggregate and country level. Estimating the pane gravity model with fixed model separately for each seafood product, the results show that food safety regulations have differential effects across products. For Namibia, both zero tolerance policy and harmonisation policy negatively impacted the fresh and frozen fish exports. The results for South Africa were mixed. Fresh fish exports increase as the regulations were put into effect while frozen fish decrease as the regulations were put into effect.

Key Words: Food Safety, Seafood, Gravity Model, MRPLs, International Trade

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