Victoria 3 Market Management: Trade, Tariffs And National Markets

This guide will aim to help you successfully navigate market management and all the burdens that come with it in Victoria 3.

Victoria 3 is a very complex game where you guide your nation through social, political, and industrial changes. To have fun in your playthrough of Victoria 3 you must learn how to deal with markets, trade, and tariffs in order to run a successful nation.

The trade mechanics in Victoria 3 are quite complicated but taking some time out to learn these mechanics can be quite rewarding. If you put in the effort you can begin to dominate the market and make your trade centers the best in the world.  

To help you successfully navigate market management and all the burdens that come with it in Victoria 3, we have divided all aspects of it below to make it easier to understand.


Markets in these games can be a great loss-free investment you can make for when you inevitably lose your money to the stock market IRL.

Market prices and their economic impacts are determined through supply and demand and that rings true in Victoria 3 as well. Prices are distinct for each market which has its own supply and demand of items.

Each country spawns with its real-life market counterpart and it’s possible to create multi-national markets as well. If you start as the UK then you have the advantage of having a large multi-continent market. Goods are priced based on supply and demand.


Tariffs are a form of trade tax that applies to both exports and imports. When a good is traded, the proceeds (or losses) will travel to the Trade Center building; the tariffs will then be subtracted from this amount and sent directly to the Treasury.

The tariff rate and the base price of the Goods being traded determine how much money is collected by a tariff, and the tariff rate is determined by two factors:

  • Market Goods Policy
  • Trade Policy Law

Four separate Trade Policy Laws exist in each country, two of which support the tariff system. Countries’ cannot set a Market Goods Policy for any Good if it has adopted either the Free Trade or the Isolationism Trade Policies because they have no tariffs.

Each good being traded has a Market Goods Policy when tariffs are in effect. By default, they are all set to No Priority, which balances imports and exports.

There are two additional options, Encourage Exports does the opposite, allowing other nations to purchase your goods without having to pay tariffs.

Protect Domestic Supply does the opposite by removing import duties to promote greater trade at the expense of your treasury.

How trading works in Victoria 3

Trade Routes

When two countries or nations don’t have a common border or land, they need to set up a trade route for their goods exchange. For this, they need a shipping lane.

But there is one check, the other country must have a port or you should have a port. Otherwise, no shipping lanes can be established. 

Trading is done through established trade routes. You can use a trade route to import and export goods. If your market is unable to make food, then you can import food from other nations.

The trade screen tells you what goods you have less off. You can also export things that you have an overproduction of.

As in the real world, nothing comes for free, and you have to maintain trade routes through bureaucracy. If you start fighting or build hatred for a specific nation, try not to do so with nations you are trading with as they might set up embargos on you.

Trade routes also take time to start functioning properly and start at level 1 with each level improving the number of goods you can transport via that route.

How to cancel trade routes

Many players complain that once they set trade routes with other nations, other nations sometimes leech out their supplies and they cannot stop them from buying.

This eventually raises the market price of those items. So, players are confused about how to stop other nations from buying their all stock.

There could be several ways to cancel trade routes with those nations. One is obviously starting a war and disconnecting all the routes with them. But you can follow economical laws and politics to prevent them from doing this deed.

You can increase the export prices or taxes which will make them least interested in your items. Or even if they still keep doing this, you will be benefitted ultimately. Your workers’ standard of living will improve and you will be getting richer.

You can make more production of those items. This will have a positive impact on your economic situation too. And lastly, you can increase an embargo to single goods.

Shipping Lanes

There are 3 basic purposes to establish shipping lanes between countries:

  • Essentially, they are for trading in the overseas market or setting up trade routes
  • They act as supply routes for overseas generals
  • They act as port connections to link different states in the market

There are, of course, certain origin and destination points of each shipping lane.

Trade convoys

The most fundamental part of maintaining shipping lanes is, of course, convoys. Convoys are produced from ports. Each country must have a specific number of convoys. If they do not have that number of convoys, they will be penalized.

There is a convoy cost too. It is dependent on how many sea nodes are there, the quantity of goods or any good-specific modifier.

Avatar photo

Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...