Double Column Tariff Explained

Cite this article as:"Double Column Tariff Explained," in The Business Professor, updated November 24, 2018, last accessed October 27, 2020,


What is a Double Column Tariff?

A Double Column Tariff is a tariff system which has two different duty rates for a particular product. Here, the import tax on the product depends on the country of its origin. The rate is assessed by the importing country’s trade relationship with the exporting country. Depending on that relationship the tariff may be higher for an exporting country than that of another country.

A Little More on Double-Column Tariff Systems

In a single column tariff system, the tariff rate on a commodity is uniform for all exporting countries. The traditional or conventional tariff system a uniform tariff is applied on a product for all the importing countries with an understanding that the tariff may be reduced for some country on the occasions of any trade agreement between the two countries.

The lowest tariffs are applied to the products imported from a country with whom the importing country has a free trade agreement. The Indian government has applied double column tariff to the commodities since the Commonwealth preference agreement of 1932. The tariff rate is low on the products imported from the Commonwealth nations. The tariff for the same goods is higher which are imported from other countries.

References for Double Column Tariffs

Academic Research on Double Column Tariff

  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† The dispersion of customs tariffs in France between 1850 and 1913: discrimination in trade policy, Becuwe, S., & Blancheton, B. (2014). In¬†Research in Economic History(pp. 163-183). This paper introduces an original and exhaustive measure of tariffs dispersion depending on the origin of imported products for France between 1850-1913. This study analyses the direct discriminatory practices applied to certain countries for certain products.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† The Political Aspect of Discrimination in International Economic Relations, Bailey, S. H. (1932). Economica, (35), 89-115. This paper examines the practices of discrimination by states due to the unlimited rights of the government to generate measures which it deems necessary for the protection of the political and economic power of a nation. We take a look into the history of International Economic Relations for clarification.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† Economic freedom and taxation: Is there a trade-off in the locational competition between countries?, Egger, P., & Winner, H. (2004).¬†Public Choice,¬†118(3-4), 271-288. This paper explores the relationship between economic freedom and taxation. The main objective is to show that an economically-free zone environment improves the attractiveness of a location, which in turn leads to the levying of higher business taxes by the government.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† The¬†tariff¬†policy of Rhodesia, 1899-1963, Cole, R. L. (1968). 1899-1963. This paper examines the development of the Rhodesian tariff policy from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the Federal Period.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† Benelux: The formation of the common customs, Meade, J. E. (1956). Economica,¬†23(91), 201-213. This article shows some of the problems which the Benelux countries faced when they decided to create their own economic union on January 1st 1948.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† Tracing value-added and¬†double¬†counting in gross exports, Koopman, R., Wang, Z., & Wei, S. J. (2014).¬†American Economic Review,¬†104(2), 459-94. This paper proposes an accounting framework that breaks up a country’s gross exports into various value-added components by source and additional double-counted terms. The objective of this framework is to bridge the gap between national accounts and official trade statistics. This is achieved by the introduction of different variables.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† Regulation of imports by executive action in countries with independent¬†tariff¬†jurisdiction, Stevens, R. B., & United States Tariff Commission. (1934). ¬†This article shows the different countries which had or once had the power to fix their own import tariffs independently. The main objective of this paper is to show the regulation of imports by the Execution Union on the above countries with reference to development between the two world wars.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† East-West Trade and Payments Relations, Familton, R. J. (1970).¬†Staff Papers,¬†17(1), 170-213.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† The Value of¬†Tariff¬†Preferences for the Developing Countries: Australian Experience, Lloyd, P. J. (1971). Economic Record,¬†47(1), 1-16. This article seeks to estimate the effect of different tariff preferences in the market of developed countries. For proper understanding, the Australian economic market is used as a case study.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† Public transport demand in Freiburg: why did patronage¬†double¬†in a decade?, FitzRoy, F., & Smith, I. (1998). Transport policy,¬†5(3), 163-173. This research examines the cause of increase in Freiburg’s demand for local public transport. The objective of this research is to investigate the various factors which led to this dramatic increase. Results however show that the increase is caused by various factors, with the most popular being the introduction of a transferable low cost environment travel card.
  • ‚󏬆¬†¬†¬†¬† China and the WTO:¬†tariff¬†offers, exemptions, and welfare implications, Bach, C. F., Martin, W., & Stevens, J. A. (1996). Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv,¬†132(3), 409-431. This article explores the effect of tariff exemptions on the Chinese economy.

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