Trade quotas

Quotas are explicit limits on the quantity of a good that can be imported or exported during a specified time period. Such limits are usually measured by physical quantity but sometimes by value. A quota may be applied on a selective basis, with varying limits set according to the country of origin or destination or bilaterally (to a single trading partner), or on a global basis (to all countries) that specifies only the total limit and thus tends to benefit more efficient suppliers. Quotas are frequently administered through a system of licensing. Non-automatic licensing usually the means for administering a quota. GATT Article XI prohibits the use of quantitative restrictions, subject to specific exceptions. For example, Article XIX permits quotas to safeguard certain industries from damage by rapidly rising imports.