There are a few ways of controlling trade in victoria 3, one of which is embargoing certain goods. Unlike other games, though, in Victoria 3, nothing is ever absolute.
In Victoria 3, the embargoes are not absolute This means that, while players might choose to embargo a trade of specific goods into their country, that’s not going to stop it outright, only hinder the ease of its trade.
This is due to the fact that another nation might try and continue to push goods into your country if they have an interest for that to happen. All it means is that an embargo will make it harder for them to do so. After all, where there is profit to be made, things like embargoes are just obstacles in the way.
Tariffs, on the other hand, are the means where a national government extends its influence as an intermediary in the trade between national markets to either ensure that countries get their own fair share of the profits of the trade, or protect their national interests.
Tariffs are set on both exports and imports leaving the national economy because the government is interested in its fair share and if it cannot get the revenue by means of a consumption tax it will find other means. The ratio of this tariff level is dependent on the trade policy set, which is governed by Laws.
A more mercantilist trade policy, devs go on to explain, would seek to ensure exports exceed imports so tariffs on exports will undoubtedly be lower, while protectionism is equal in its ratio as it seeks to shelter the domestic economy from booming or busting on either side of the equation. Free Trade, on the other hand, doesn't care about tariffs at all and seeks to profit through other means.