A voluntary export restriction (VT) or voluntary export restriction is a government-imposed limit on the quantity of a class of products that can be exported to a particular country for a period of time. They are sometimes referred to as “export visas.”  Under voluntary export restriction (VER), there is a voluntary expansion of imports (VIE) that changes a country`s economic and trade policy to allow more imports by reducing tariffs or reducing quotas. COUNTRY is often part of trade agreements with another country or is the result of international pressure. VERs are generally implemented for exports from one country to another. VERs have been in use at least since the 1930s and are used on products ranging from textiles and footwear to steel, machine tools and automobiles. In the 1980s, they became a popular form of protection; they did not violate the provisions of the countries in force under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Following the GATT cycle that ended in Uruguay in 1994, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed not to introduce new VERs and to terminate existing ERVs over a four-year period, with exceptions that could be granted to one sector in each importing country. VERs are generally created when industries seek refuge from competing imports from certain countries. The exporting country then proposes veRs to appease the importing country and prevent it from imposing explicit (and less flexible) trade barriers. As a general rule, at the request of an importing country seeking protection for its domestic producers, a country imposes a voluntary export restriction.
The exporting country sets up a VER to avoid any trade restrictions of the importing country. There are ways to avoid a VER by a company. For example, the exporting country`s company can still build a production site in the country where exports are directed. In this way the company is no longer obliged to export goods and should not be linked to the country`s VER. Finally, an agreement was reached between the exporting and importing parties within the textile industry, which led to the creation of the multifibre agreement in the 1970s. The agreement was essentially an agreement of voluntary multilateral export restrictions. The agreement is no longer in force and was denounced in 2005 after a transitional period of 10 years since the GATT of 1994. The application of a voluntary export restriction allows the exporting country to exercise some degree of control over the restriction that would otherwise be lost if it were subject to trade restrictions from the importing country. Therefore, despite what its name indicates, VERs are rarely voluntary. Studies on the effectiveness of VERs suggest that they are not effective in the long term.