Voluntary export restrictions (VERs) fall under the broad category of non-tariff barriers that are barriers to trade, such as quotas, sanctions, embargoes and other restrictions. As a general rule, VER are the result of requests by the importing country to offer a certain degree of protection to its domestic companies producing competing products, although these agreements can also be concluded at the sector level. A voluntary export restriction (VER) is a trade restriction for the quantity of a product authorized to export from one exporting country to another country. This limit is imposed by the exporting country itself. In the context of the Voluntary Export Restriction (VER), it is a voluntary import expansion (VIE), which is a change in a country`s economic and trade policy to allow more imports by reducing tariffs or dropping quotas. Often, VIPs are part of trade agreements with another country or are the result of international pressure. When the U.S. auto industry was threatened by the popularity of cheaper, less fuel-intensive Japanese cars, a 1981 auto-restraint agreement limited the Japanese to export 1.68 million cars a year to the U.S., as established by the U.S. government. [2] This quota was originally due to expire after three years, in April 1984.

However, in the face of a growing trade deficit with Japan and pressure from domestic producers, the US government extended the quotas for another year. [3] The ceiling was raised to 1.85 million cars for this additional year and then to 2.3 million for 1985. The self-restraint was lifted in 1994. [4] A voluntary export restriction (VER) or voluntary export restriction is a government-imposed limitation on the quantity of a class of goods that can be exported to a given country for a certain period of time. They are sometimes referred to as “export visas”. [1] REVs are generally used for exports from one country to another. VER have been used at least since the 1930s and have been applied to products ranging from textiles and footwear to steel, machine tools and automobiles. They became a popular form of protection in the 1980s; they have not violated the agreements concluded by the countries under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in force.

Following the GATT Uruguay Round, concluded in 1994, Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed not to introduce new REOs and to allow existing ones to expire over a period of four years, with exemptions for one sector in each importing country. Some examples of VER occurred in Japan`s automobile exports in the early 1980s and textile exports in the 1950s and 1960s. There are ways for a company to avoid a VER. For example, the company in the exporting country can still build a production facility in the country to which the export would be directed. In this way, the company no longer needs to export goods and should not be tied to the country`s ERR. VERs originated in the 1930s and gained popularity in the 1980s when Japan used one to limit auto exports to the United States. .