DEFINITION of 'Customs Barrier'

Any measure designed to limit international trade. A customs barrier will act to limit the level of trade across international borders by implementing restrictions on imports and/or exports. Governments may impose such restrictions in order to protect a domestic industry from foreign competition, or to limit the export of goods or services deemed vital to a domestic economy's health.

Also known as a "trade barrier".

BREAKING DOWN 'Customs Barrier'

Types of customs barrier can include tariffs, levies, duties and trade embargos. While most economists are in agreement that such measures ultimately create less-than-optimal economic conditions, governments often resort to them for a variety of reasons, ranging from protecting an infant industry to engaging in a trade war with another country.

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