technical barriers to trade

Book Launch: Transparency in the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements

The Real Jewel in the Crown
Marianna B. Karttunen, OECD

Online - via MS Teams

Transparency of trade regulations by all WTO Members is essential for open, fair and predictable trade relations. A myriad of regulations apply in all WTO Members and have the potential for affecting international trade. The Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade provide comprehensive frameworks to address the costs arising from such regulatory diversity, through obligations on regulatory transparency and co-operation. This book gives a detailed account of the legal disciplines of the two Agreements, an in-depth presentation of discussions between WTO Members, and an overview of the few cases that ended up in formal dispute settlement. It shows that the strength of the WTO legal and institutional system goes well beyond its dispute settlement system, with transparency enabling implementation of WTO obligations through better information sharing and cooperation among Members, through non-judicial means.

Opening remarks:

  • Aik Hoe Lim, Director, Trade and Environment Division, WTO


  • Presentation by the author: Marianna B. Karttunen, Policy Analyst, OECD


  • Petros Mavroidis, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Robert Wolfe, Professor Emeritus, Queens University


  • Serra Ayral, Counsellor, Trade and Environment Division, WTO



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