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WTO Matrix on Trade-Related Measures Pursuant to Selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are an important means for countries to tackle environmental problems, particularly those international or global in scope. There are, currently in force, over 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) dealing with various environmental issues. About 20 of these MEAs include provisions to control trade in order to prevent damage to the environment:


The Matrix of MEA trade measures has been prepared under the WTO Secretariat's own responsibility and without prejudice to the positions of Members and to their rights and obligations under the WTO.

 Other resources

> WTO Documents Online

> Basel Convention

> Convention on Biological Diversity

> Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

> Montreal Protocol

> Rotterdam Convention

> Stockholm Convention

> United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


  • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
  • International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
  • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
  • Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA)
  • The UN Fish Stocks Agreement
  • Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

The Matrix provides the following background information on selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs):

  • Brief description of the MEA;
  • Trade-related measures of the MEA, notably requirements or restrictions on imported or exported products;
  • Supportive measures, such as technology transfer, and financial or technical assistance under the provisions of the MEA;
  • Non-compliance mechanism set out in the MEA;
  • Dispute settlement mechanisms in the MEA;
  • Provisions relating to non-parties to the MEA.

The latest version available of the Matrix for download is WT/CTE/W/160/Rev.6.

 CTE Work Programme

The Marrakech Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment sets out the Work Programme of the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). Items 1 and 5 cover the relationship between the rules of the multilateral trading system and the trade measures contained in MEAs, and between their dispute settlement mechanisms.

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 Doha Mandate on MEAs

At the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference, Members agreed to negotiate on the relationship between WTO rules and specific trade obligations in MEAs; and on the collaboration between WTO and MEA secretariats. These negotiations take place in special sessions of the Trade and Environment Committee.

More info…