News back to top
TBT Agreement back to top
The full text of the TBT Agreement
What are technical
barriers to trade? A brief introduction
WTO Agreement Series — Technical Barriers to Trade
An overview of the TBT Agreement, FAQs, the full legal text of the Agreement, and the decisions and recommendations adopted by the TBT Committee since 1 January 1995.
TBT Committee back to top
TBT Committee work involves two broad areas:
- review of specific measures
WTO members/observers use the TBT Committee to discuss specific trade concerns (STCs) — specific laws, regulations or procedures that affect their trade, usually in response to notifications. Essentially, members raise STCs to find out more about the scope and implementation of each other's regulations in light of the core TBT obligations (for example, regulating health without unnecessarily disrupting trade). The discussion is mostly about measures in the pipeline, but can also be about the implementation of existing measures. To date, more than 400 "STCs" have been raised which can be accessed through the TBT Information Management System TBT IMS — the database of WTO information on TBT notifications, specific trade concerns, enquiry points, etc.
- strengthening implementation of the TBT Agreement
Members exchange experiences on the implementation of the Agreement with a view to making implementation more effective and efficient. This discussion revolves around generic, cross-cutting themes, including transparency, standards, conformity assessment and good regulatory practice.
Over the years, the Committee has developed a series of decisions and recommendations intended to facilitate implementation of the TBT Agreement. The latest decisions and recommendations adopted by the Committee can be found here.
Meetings of the TBT Committee back to top
Annual reviews back to top
The Committee is mandated to conduct an annual review of activities relating to the implementation and operation of the TBT Agreement, including notifications, specific trade concerns, technical assistance activities, and TBT related disputes. The latest Annual Review report was adopted in March 2014.
> All annual reviews
Triennial reviews back to top
The TBT Committee is mandated to review the operation and implementation of the TBT Agreement on a triennial basis. The Seventh Triennial Review is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.
> More on triennial reviews
Members’ transparency toolkit
Transparency is a cornerstone of the TBT Agreement and consists of three core elements:
establishment of enquiry points
This toolkit contains information on the transparency obligations and procedures, and related work in the Committee, as well as other resources.
Disputes back to top
Disputes citing the TBT Agreement
Find jurisprudence concerning the TBT Agreement: