What is an embargo?
An embargo is any event or government restriction that prevents commerce or exchange (import or export) of freight to another country or state.
Embargo can be applied to goods including:
Embargo in freight shipping can be imposed in any context (war or peace), as it covers all aspects of economic activity and trade. Generally, embargoes do not apply to the exchange of all goods. A specific embargo is usually applied to certain categories of transport, goods, services, and other technical or scientific information. More common embargoed items are military equipment and oil.
In international relations and foreign policy, an embargo can be a result of diplomatic, political, economic, financial, technical, and scientific pressure.
Why are embargoes imposed?
Both in historical and modern cases, embargoes have been established on foreign trade due to various reasons. It is most commonly directed to a specific country or group of countries that pose a threat to international security.
The imposed restrictions are used as a basis for terminating or suspending all activities related to the obligations of specific countries, citizens, and their organizations.
An embargo is a powerful instrument that has the potential to affect a country or state in terms of political and economic aspects. Imposing an embargo on a certain country means that they can no longer utilize their economic resources for trade to its full capacity. This will have adverse effects on economic prosperity.
What are the types of embargo?
There are several types of embargo that can be imposed on a country or state. These can be total or partial in nature. Some common embargoes are:
- Political embargo
- Embargo to ensure national security
- Trade embargo or embargo that is economic in nature are used to stunt the economic growth of countries
- Embargo to prevent and respond to dispute about territorial borders
- Embargo to protect the health of citizens
- Environmental embargo to express country’s disagreement with another country’s environmental or animal welfare policy
Certain trade embargoes will still allow the exchange of specific goods such as medicine or food to meet humanitarian needs. Most multinational embargoes have provisions that allow certain import and export services under a set of restrictions.
What are the consequences of an embargo?
While an embargo is a nonviolent means of political influence, it has the potential to harm citizens and economies.
An embargo can block the importation of specific goods and services that are critical to the welfare of citizens. Further, businesses can lose the ability to engage in trade or investments under an embargo.
How does an embargo impact you?
Embargoes can pose challenges for shippers and receivers in an affected area. When a carrier imposes an embargo on a location that you commonly import to or export from, you may have to look for a more expensive carrier.
Carriers who accept these embargoed items will likely take on more freight than usual, causing inevitable shipping delays.
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