These are customs duties on merchandise imports. The sum charged by a government is either a percentage of the value of the good or a specific sum. Tariffs raise revenue for governments or act to increase the price of imports, thus making it easier for local producers to compete with imported goods. Non-tariff measures or non-tariff barriers are those such as quotas, import licensing systems, sanitary regulations and prohibitions. Policies to reduce tariffs are an important part of trade agreements.
Tariffs can have an impact on access to medicines and on health financing. Tariffs on medical goods can provide an important source of revenue (particularly of foreign currency), but they can also lead to higher prices for individuals or health systems of medicines or health related supplies.
It is also argued that tariffs keep the price of imported goods high and thereby encourage locally made products, such as medicines. However, this requires a local production capacity and assumes that the price set will be significantly lower than the imported price.