TECHNICAL BARRIERS TO TRADE

Slideshow

More

  

Members discussed a total of 58 specific trade concerns, and exchanged experiences on risk assessment practices of members in various areas.

New specific trade concerns

Cyber security and trade

Members extensively debated the impact of cyber security laws on trade in high-technology products as more than one-third of new trade concerns touched upon this issue. Some members were concerned that these newly introduced regulations would negatively impact trade in ICT products, potentially discriminating against non-domestic companies and technologies, and possibly leading to unnecessary disclosure of commercially confidential and technical information.

In response, members introducing these regulations highlighted that cybersecurity rules are needed to address national security issues and to ensure consumer privacy, and that the measures in question were non-discriminatory. Members have previously raised concerns with cyber security regulations introduced in the area of banking and insurance.

 

  • China’s cyber security review of network products and services

China explained that the measures aim at safeguarding national security. China assured the Committee that these measures neither target specific members nor discriminate against foreign products. Rather, it was stressed, these measures increase consumer confidence as they are aimed at providing secure networks and products.

The European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia, while recognizing the importance of protecting cybersecurity, asked China to define the scope of its cyber security regulations and clarify the definitions of key terms such as “secure and controllable services and products” that are covered by the draft law. While members acknowledged the importance of safeguarding against “network intrusions”, and “cyber-attacks”, as well as protecting users’ personal information and sensitive data, they urged China to implement relevant measures in a non-discriminatory manner and in line with the TBT Agreement.

  • China’s draft encryption requirements

The European Union, Japan, the United States and Canada said that China’s draft encryption requirements are highly trade restrictive on ICT products, and could discriminate against a range of companies that use or supply encrypted products and encryption-related services in China.

Encryption is the process of converting information into a code in order to prevent unauthorised access. The process is usually used to protect information transmitted online.

Members asked China to ensure that its requirements are developed in accordance with international practices and standards, are non-discriminatory and do not require manufacturers to reveal sensitive and protected information, such as encryption keys or source code. China replied that its encryption requirements are important in the reform of its cyber security policies, and that comments are currently being taken into consideration in the revision of its draft requirements.

  • China’s cyber security guidelines for vehicles

China highlighted the need to protect the cyber security of internet-connected vehicles, including for ensuring consumer privacy and promoting fair competition. It said these rules are voluntary and developed by an independent industry organization.

The United States expressed concern that China’s cyber security guidelines for vehicles appear to discriminate against foreign technologies and firms, unnecessarily restrict trade, and impose data localization requirements. In the view of the United States, some terms are insufficiently defined and the scope of the requirements is unclear. The US requested China to notify this measure to the WTO and to give a transition period of six months or more in order to give industry sufficient time to adapt.

  • China’s rules on civil aviation network information security

The United States, the European Union and Canada expressed concern that China was seeking to impose “secure and controllable” requirements for ICT products used in the aviation sector, which could be interpreted by companies to require the purchase of domestic ICT products. Such requirements were trade restrictive and could hinder protection of cyber security, the US said, since they could prevent the use of cutting edge technologies. The US therefore asked China to delay the implementation of the new requirements.

China asked members to elaborate further on their concerns so that they could be adequately considered by its authorities.

Use of chemicals in certain products

  • EU’s hazard classification of titanium dioxide

Currently the EU is considering a proposal to classify titanium dioxide as a carcinogenic substance.

The US expressed concerns that this classification would affect its use in thousands of products (e.g. paint, cosmetics and sunscreen) due to the required carcinogen labelling, and would be disruptive to global commerce.

The EU said that any proposal on the classification of titanium dioxide would be notified to the TBT Committee, and all comments sent by members would be duly taken into account by the Commission in the decision making process.

  • EU´s non-renewal of approval of picoxystrobin

Brazil, Canada and Argentina expressed concern that the non-approval of the chemical picoxystrobin is against the scientific consensus that the substance is safe to protect crops. They noted that picoxystrobin is used in more than 65 countries and approved by many regulators worldwide. Picoxystrobin, as an active substance used in plant protection products, was subject to a comprehensive assessment and peer review under EU rules. Members urged the EU to base its scientific review process on international standards and to consider all available data.

The European Union stated that data gaps with respect to the possible impacts of picoxystrobin on human health and the environment meant that it was not possible to renew the approval of this chemical. The EU said the measure had been notified in line with the TBT Agreement, and does not disrupt trade as it does not amend the maximum residue levels in products and provides for a transition period.

Previously raised specific trade concerns

Toys

The United States, the European Union and Ukraine raised concerns about measures affecting the importation of toys into Kazakhstan and Russia. This is the third time the issue has been on the meeting agenda. Kazakhstan argued that its restrictions are meant to “protect the well-being of children” from harmful toys.

The US and the EU responded that there is no scientific basis for the restrictions. The Committee also discussed concerns previously raised about Indonesia’s toy testing requirements. In the view of the EU, Japan and the US, these restrictions discriminate against imported toys.

Also at this meeting the EU, Canada and the US again raised concerns about Brazil’s toy certification ordinance, arguing that it is excessively burdensome. More details on trade in toys is available below.

In addition, members raised 44 previously discussed concerns, covering a range of categories, such as food and beverages, cosmetics, medical devices, and vehicles. A full list is available below.

Thematic session

On 13 June, WTO members held a “thematic session” on risk assessment. These sessions, which are part of the Committee’s 2016-2018 work plan, are an opportunity for members to exchange information and expertise on topics covered by the TBT Agreement.

Members highlighted the importance of aligning conformity assessment procedures with the nature and level of risk posed by products. The EU explained how risk assessment features in the EU’s regulatory process. Chinese Taipei explained how risk management features in its pre-market inspection procedures. Indonesia described its risk assessment of electrical and electronic products, and related conformity assessment procedures. The US and China also shared their experiences on risk assessment in respect of cyber security, and health claims.

Eighth Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement

In 2018, the TBT Committee will undertake the Eighth Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement. This review process is an opportunity for members to propose ideas on how to better implement the Agreement, in light of members’ experience (e.g. by developing new guidelines and best practices). At the 14-15 June meeting, members agreed to a roadmap for the Eighth Triennial Review process, which is scheduled to be completed in November 2018.

Updates from observers

The International Electrotechnical Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, the International Organization of Legal Metrology,   the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the CODEX Alimentarius and the World Health Organization (WHO)  updated the Committee on recent activities.

Specific trade concerns: full list

New Specific Trade Concerns

Specific Trade Concern

Notification symbol/brief description of measure

Member(s) raising

China — Cyberspace Administration of China – Draft implementing measures for the Cybersecurity Review of Network Products and Services

 

European Union
United States
Japan
Australia
Canada

China — Draft revised Encryption Law of the People’s Republic of China by the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA)

 

European Union
Japan
United States
Canada

European Union — Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 - non-renewal of approval of the active substance picoxystrobin.

G/TBT/N/EU/437

Brazil
Canada
Argentina

China — Limits and Measurement Methods for Emissions of Light-duty Vehicles (China 6)

G/TBT/N/CHN/930/Rev.1

Japan

China — Internet of Vehicles Cybersecurity Protection Guideline Rules

 

United States

China - Civil Aviation Network Information Security Management Rules

 

United States
European Union
Canada

European Union — Titanium dioxide: Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation), Annex VI, Part 2

 

United States

Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen - Guide for control of imported foods – Certification requirements for animal products

G/TBT/N/OMN/198 G/SPS/N/BHR/164
G/SPS/N/QAT/22/Add.3
G/SPS/N/OMN/44/Rev.1/Add.1
G/SPS/N/SAU/14/Add.2

United States
European Union

Nepal — National Alcohol Regulation and Control Policy – Graphic Warnings and Statements for Alcoholic Beverages

 

United States
European Union
Canada

United States - Standards of Identity for Cheese

 

Canada

United States - Wisconsin butter laws

 

Canada

Previously raised Specific Trade Concerns

Specific Trade Concern

Notification symbol/brief description of measure

Member(s) raising

IMS ID

India — Pneumatic tyres and tubes for automotive vehicles

G/TBT/N/IND/20 G/TBT/N/IND/40

European Union
Republic of Korea
Japan

133

China — Provisions for the Administration of Cosmetics Application Acceptance

G/TBT/N/CHN/821

European Union
Japan

296

India — New Telecommunications related Rules (Department of Telecommunications, No. 842-725/2005-VAS/Vol.III (3 December 2009); No. 10-15/2009-AS-III/193 (18 March 2010); and Nos. 10-15/2009-AS.III/Vol.II/(Pt.)/(25-29) (28 July 2010); Department of Telecommunications, No. 10-15/2009-AS.III/Vol.II/(Pt.)/(30) (28 July 2010) and accompanying template, “Security and Business Continuity Agreement”)

 

European Union
United States
Japan
Canada

274

China — Requirements for information security products, including, inter alia, the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA) 1999 Regulation on commercial encryption products and its on-going revision and the Multi-Level Protection Scheme (MLPS)

 

 

 

G/TBT/N/CHN/1172

European Union
Canada
Japan
United States
Australia

294

China — Banking IT Equipment Security Regulation

   

457

China — Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Information and Communication Technology Regulation

   

489

Russian Federation — Draft Technical Regulation on Alcohol Drinks Safety (published on 24 October 2011)

G/TBT/N/RUS/2

European Union
United States
Ukraine
Guatemala

332

Republic of Korea — Regulation on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Material

G/TBT/N/KOR/305
G/TBT/N/KOR/305/Add.1
G/TBT/N/KOR/478
G/TBT/N/KOR/547
G/TBT/N/KOR/592
G/TBT/N/KOR/700

United States

305

Indonesia — Technical Guidelines for the Implementation of the Adoption and Supervision of Indonesian National Standards for Obligatory Toy Safety

G/TBT/N/IDN/64 G/TBT/N/IDN/64/Add.1-2

European Union
United States
Japan

328

European Union — Draft Implementing Regulations amending Regulation (EC) No. 607/2009 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 as regards protected designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector products

G/TBT/N/EU/246 G/TBT/N/EU/246/Add.1

Argentina
United States
Brazil

345

India — Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012

G/TBT/N/IND/44
G/TBT/N/IND/44/Add.1-5
G/TBT/N/IND/47 G/TBT/N/IND/47/Add.1-3
G/TBT/N/IND/47/Add.1/Corr.1

United States
European Union
Republic of Korea
Canada

367

European Union — Revised Proposal for the Categorization of Compounds as Endocrine Disruptors of 19 February 2013 by DG Environment

G/TBT/N/EU/383
G/TBT/N/EU/383/Add.1
G/TBT/N/EU/384
G/TBT/N/EU/384/Add.1
G/SPS/N/EU/166
G/SPS/N/EU/166/Add.1

Argentina
Canada
United States
Brazil
Colombia
Thailand
Guatemala
Australia
Uruguay
Egypt

393

Peru — Act to Promote Healthy Eating Among Children and Adolescents

G/TBT/N/PER/59
G/TBT/N/PER/89
G/TBT/N/PER/89/Corr.1

Mexico
United States
Guatemala

383

Ecuador — Resolution No. 116 of the Foreign Trade Committee of Ecuador of 19 November 2013 and Technical Regulation of the Ecuadorian Standardization Institute RTE INEN 022 on the labelling of processed and packaged food products

G/TBT/N/ECU/19 G/TBT/N/ECU/19/Add.1–11

Mexico
Colombia
Guatemala

411

Russian Federation — Safety of products for children and adolescents

G/TBT/N/RUS/29

European Union
United States
Ukraine

418

Thailand — Draft Notification of the Alcoholic Beverages Control, Re: Rules, Procedure and condition for Labels of Alcoholic Beverages, issued under B.E.

G/TBT/N/THA/437
G/TBT/N/THA/437/Add.1

United States
European Union
Australia
Guatemala
Canada
New Zealand

427

China — Regulations for the Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices (Order No. 650 of the State Council)

G/TBT/N/CHN/1022
G/TBT/N/CHN/1023
G/TBT/N/CHN/1024
G/TBT/N/CHN/1025
G/TBT/N/CHN/1026
G/TBT/N/CHN/1029

European Union
Republic of Korea
Canada

 

428

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen — The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Draft Technical Regulation for “Requirements of Handling Energy Drinks”

G/TBT/N/ARE/262
G/TBT/N/QAT/389 G/TBT/N/SAU/669 G/TBT/N/SAU/789 G/TBT/N/ARE/299 G/TBT/N/BHR/426 G/TBT/N/KWT/309 G/TBT/N/OMN/23 G/TBT/N/QAT/423 G/TBT/N/SAU/910 G/TBT/N/YEM/29 G/TBT/N/ARE/301 G/TBT/N/BHR/428 G/TBT/N/KWT/311 G/TBT/N/OMN/240 G/TBT/N/QAT/425
G/TBT/N/SAU/912 G/TBT/N/YEM/31

United States
European Union
Switzerland

442

European Union — Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (Common Criteria) certification in the EU

 

China

448

China — Administrative Measure on Cosmetics Labelling (AMCL)

G/TBT/N/CHN/1064

European Union
Japan
New Zealand

456

China — Registration Fees for Drugs and Medical Device Products

 

Republic of Korea
Canada
Australia

466

Brazil — Draft Ordinance Act Nº. 374, 27 November 2014 (Portaria SDA/MAPA 374/2014) Establishes quality requirements for wine and derivatives of grape and wine

G/TBT/N/BRA/613
G/TBT/N/BRA/613/Rev.1
G/TBT/N/BRA/675

European Union

470

Brazil — Toy Certification; Ordinance No. 89, No. 310 and draft administrative rule No. 321

G/TBT/N/BRA/612
G/TBT/N/BRA/612/Add.1

European Union
Canada
United States

478

China — Interim Measures for Quality Management of Commercial Coal

 

Australia

477

India — The Stainless Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2015

 

European Union

486

India — Draft Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations, 2015

G/TBT/N/IND/51

European Union
Japan
Canada

494

China — Formula Registration Regulation for Infant and Follow-up Formula

G/TBT/N/CHN/1165

European Union
United States
Japan

493

Indonesia — Halal Product Assurance Law No. 33 of 2014

 

European Union
United States
Brazil
Australia

502

Thailand — Milk Code - Draft Act on Controlling to the Marketing Promotion on Food for Infant and Young Children and Other Related Products BE

G/TBT/N/THA/471
G/TBT/N/THA/471/Rev.1

United States
Australia
European Union
Canada

503

Russian Federation — Rules of cement certification

G/TBT/N/RUS/48
G/TBT/N/RUS/49

European Union
Mexico
Ukraine
Kazakhstan

497

Egypt — Manufacturer Registration System (Decree No. 43/2016 and Decree No. 992/2015)

G/TBT/N/EGY/114
G/TBT/N/EGY/115

United States
Turkey
European Union
Switzerland
Ukraine
Canada
Australia
Thailand

505

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi — East African Community alcoholic beverage standards

G/TBT/N/KEN/472-477
G/TBT/N/KEN/479
G/TBT/N/KEN/482-483
G/TBT/N/KEN/556-561 G/TBT/N/KEN/563-565 G/TBT/N/KEN/567
G/TBT/N/UGA/434-435
G/TBT/N/UGA/437-441

European Union
United States

510
519

European Union — Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs

G/TBT/EU/139 G/TBT/EU/139/Add.1

United States
Uruguay

512

The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu — Draft of the Organic Agriculture Act      

G/TBT/N/TPKM/225
G/TBT/N/TPKM/225 Add.1-2

European Union

511

China — National Standards on Limits of Volatile Organic Compounds for Furniture

G/TBT/N/CHN/1094
G/TBT/N/CHN/1095
G/TBT/N/CHN/1096

European Union

509

Republic of Korea — Amendment of the Notifications on Warning Messages on Smoking and Drinking

G/TBT/N/KOR/664, G/TBT/N/KOR/664/Add.1

European Union
Japan
United States
Australia
Canada
Chile
New Zealand
Mexico

518

Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Kyrgyz Republic — The amendments No. 2 to the Technical Regulation of the Customs Union on Safety of Toys (TÐ ÌÑ 008/2011)

GTBT/N/KAZ/7 G/TBT/N/RUS/73
G/TBT/N/KGZ/48

European Union
United States
Ukraine

514

Ireland — Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015

G/TBT/N/IRL/2

Mexico

516

Russian Federation — Medical Devices

G/TBT/N/RUS/51 G/TBT/N/RUS/52 G/TBT/N/RUS/53 G/TBT/N/RUS/55

United States
European Union
Ukraine

520

Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic — Pharmaceutical products - Resolution 1314 of the Government of the Russian Federation on determining compliance of medicinal products’ manufacturers with the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice (non-notified); draft decisions of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Union

G/TBT/N/RUS/54 G/TBT/N/RUS/58 G/TBT/N/RUS/63

European Union
United States
Ukraine

521

China — Cybersecurity Law

 

United States
European Union
Japan
Canada
Australia

526

China — Tentative Administrative Rules on Enterprises Average Fuel Consumption and New Energy Vehicle Credits and Administration Regulation on the Access of New Energy Vehicle Manufactures and Products

G/TBT/N/CHN/1187 G/TBT/N/CHN/1188

European Union
Japan
United States

527

Italy — Labelling requirements of the origin of grains used in the preparation of dried pasta

 

Mexico
Canada
Brazil

530

European Union — Organic production and labelling - Maté (erva-mate)

 

Brazil

524

European Union — Radio Equipment Directive

 

China
United States

525

Republic of Korea — Household Chemical and Biocidal Products         

G/TBT/N/KOR/684 G/TBT/N/KOR/547 G/TBT/N/KOR/702

United States

529

United Arab Emirates – Control Scheme to restrict the use of hazardous materials in electronic and electrical devices

G/TBT/N/ARE/265

European Union

496


Did you know?

  • World trade in toys is worth around USD 50 billion (2015) and has been growing steadily since 2010 (by an average 3% per year since 2010).
  • China and the European Union are by far the largest toy exporters (more than 85% of all exports in 2015), with the United States and the European Union being by far the largest toy importers (more than 70% of all imports in 2015).
  • Toys are frequently subject to regulations aimed at addressing health or safety risks to children.
  • Since 1995, WTO members have notified 200 toy-specific regulations to the TBT Committee.
  • 177 out of these 200 notifications concerned “technical regulations”, with the remainder mostly concerning “conformity assessment procedures” (CAP).
  • 143 out of these 200 notifications have been submitted by developing countries. The members who have submitted the most notifications are Israel (35), China (25), the United States (24) and the European Union (11).
  • The vast majority (around 70%) of regulations notified to the WTO are aimed at protecting human health or safety. The most common objective is to protect against risks arising from chemical, toxic or hazardous substances. The next most common objective is to protect against risk of physical injuries. Another important objective addressed by these measures is the prevention of deceptive practices and consumer protection.
  • Since 2000, a total of 21 toy-related trade concerns have been raised and discussed in the TBT Committee. These concerns have mainly focused on three areas: labelling, standards and CAPs. Although the vast majority of toy‑specific notifications are about “technical regulations” (e.g. prescribing or prohibiting the use of certain chemicals in the manufacturing of toys), most concerns raised in the Committee involve CAPs, i.e. procedures to assess whether the toy conforms with the specifications prescribed in toy-specific regulations.

Share


Share


  

Photos
Photo gallery View Slideshow

Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact webmaster@wto.org giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.