Trade barriers

Government authorities

What government office handles complaints from domestic exporters against foreign trade barriers at the WTO or under other agreements?

There is no specific office or procedure set forth by Jordanian law for complaining about foreign trade barriers under the WTO or free trade agreements. However, in practice, complaints are usually filed with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, which examines the complaints and conducts the necessary communications with the concerned agencies in the relevant foreign countries through Jordanian embassies, delegations and commercial attachés.

Complaint filing procedure

What is the procedure for filing a complaint against a foreign trade barrier?

See question 15.

Grounds for investigation

What will the authority consider when deciding whether to begin an investigation?

The ministry does not conduct an investigation, but would ask applicants to provide documents supporting their allegations of the existence of technical barriers against their exports.

Measures against foreign trade barriers

What measures outside the WTO may the authority unilaterally take against a foreign trade barrier? Are any such measures currently in force?

Jordan may suspend concessions provided under free trade agreements if a technical barrier is unjustly imposed against certain Jordanian exports by a free trade partner country, and in accordance with the rules of such free trade agreements. Also, the government may apply different measures against non-WTO members, such as prohibition and quantitative restrictions. Recently the Government of Jordan has prohibited importation of 194 products from Syria in response to technical barriers applied against the entry of several Jordanian products to the Syrian market.

Private-sector support

What support does the government expect from the private sector to bring a WTO case?

Jordan has never raised any dispute with member countries at the WTO level. However, whenever there is a claim by any affected Jordanian exporter against technical barriers applied by member countries against Jordanian imports, the government expects claimants to cover lawyers’ fees and all associated expenses, and to provide the necessary data, information and evidence supporting their allegations. The same applies to trade remedies issues.

Notable non-tariff barriers

What notable trade barriers other than retaliatory measures does your country impose on imports?

Under Import and Export Law No. 21 of 2001, the government can impose prohibitions or restrictions on imports. Some imports are prohibited by reason of public safety, health and environment, or protection of national resources, or to implement UN Security Council resolutions.

Import licences, both automatic and non-automatic, are issued mainly by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply. Importation Decree No. 109 of 2015 lists the products subject to automatic and non-automatic licences.

Non-automatic import licences are used for the protection of health, safety, national security, public order, the environment, morals and the conservation of natural resources. They may also be issued for products subjected to quantitative restrictions.

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for SPS measures to protect animal and plant health against pests and diseases.