In order to avoid possible technical barriers to trade, WTO Members will submit draft national legislation to other TBT Members. They can then assess the impact on their exports and identify provisions that violate the agreement. Any company from a WTO member country involved in international trade may benefit from certain provisions of the TBT Agreement. The agreement includes transparency provisions to reduce discriminatory or trade-restrictive measures at an early stage of the regulatory process so that U.S. companies do not face unnecessary trade barriers. These provisions contain provisions on notification and comments allowing interested parties to request copies, revise and comment on technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures that may affect trade. 2.5 A Member preparing, adopting or applying a Technical Regulation that may have a significant impact on the trade of other Members shall, at the request of another Member, explain the rationale for that Technical Regulation with respect to paragraphs 2 to 4. Where a technical regulation is developed, adopted or applied for one of the legitimate purposes expressly referred to in paragraph 2 and complies with relevant international standards, it shall be considered in a rebuttable manner not to constitute an unnecessary obstacle to international trade. • an introduction to WTO rules on technical barriers to trade and understanding of the TBT Agreement In order to ensure that conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary barriers to international trade, the TBT Agreement also provides as follows: 11.5 Members, upon request, shall advise other Members, in particular members from developing countries, and provide them with technical assistance on mutually agreed terms concerning the measures to be taken; which should be undertaken by their manufacturers if they so wish.
have access to conformity assessment systems operated by governmental or non-governmental bodies in the territory of the member receiving the application. Desiring, however, to ensure that technical regulations and standards, including packaging, marking and labelling requirements, as well as conformity assessment procedures for technical regulations and standards, do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade, 2.6 In order to harmonize technical regulations as far as possible, Members shall participate fully, to the extent possible, to the development of international regulations, to the greatest extent possible, to the development of international regulations. product standards by the appropriate international standardisation bodies for products for which they have adopted or intend to adopt technical regulations. 5.1.2 Conformity assessment procedures are not prepared, adopted or applied in order to create or create unnecessary barriers to international trade. This means, inter alia, that conformity assessment procedures cannot be applied more strictly or rigorously than is necessary to give the importing Member reasonable confidence in the conformity of the products with the applicable technical regulations or standards, taking into account the risks that non-compliance would entail. 2.4 Where technical regulations are necessary and relevant international standards exist or are imminent, Members shall use them and the relevant parts thereof as the basis for their technical regulations, unless such international standards or relevant parts constitute an ineffective or inappropriate means of achieving the legitimate objectives pursued; for example, due to fundamental climatic or geographical factors or fundamental technological problems. The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary barriers to trade. At the same time, it recognizes the right of WTO Members to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety or the protection of the environment.
The TBT Agreement strongly encourages Members to base their actions on international standards as a means of facilitating trade. Through its transparency provisions, it also aims to create a predictable business environment. 9.1 Where positive assurance of conformity with a technical regulation or standard is required, Members shall, to the extent possible, formulate and adopt international conformity assessment systems and become or participate in international conformity assessment systems. • a technical explanation of the WTO TBT Agreement 11.6 Members that are members of or participating in international or regional conformity assessment systems shall, upon request, advise other Members, in particular Members from developing countries, and provide them with technical assistance on mutually agreed terms with regard to the establishment of institutions and the legal framework that would enable them to fulfil their obligations arising from membership in or participation in such systems. Recognizing that no country should be prevented from taking the measures necessary to ensure the quality of its exports or the protection of human, animal or plant health or the health of the environment, or the prevention of deceptive practices in areas it deems appropriate, provided that they are not applied in a manner, which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail or disguised restrictions on international trade which are otherwise in conformity with the provisions of this Agreement; Where international standards exist, Members shall use them as a basis for their technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures, unless their use appears in certain circumstances (e.B. for climatic or technological reasons) unsuitable or ineffective for the achievement of the objective pursued (Art. . . .