Technical barriers to trade
The Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. At the same time, it recognises WTO members' right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or protection of the environment. The TBT Agreement strongly encourages members to base their measures on international standards as a means to facilitate trade. Through its transparency provisions, it also aims to create a predictable trading environment.
- Search SPS & TBT notifications and trade concerns
- Submit notifications
- Register to receive email alerts
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- 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.
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Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade
The Committee on Technical barriers to trade oversees the implementation of the TBT Agreement, providing a forum for members to discuss specific trade concerns (STCs) related to specific laws, regulations or procedures that affect their trade. Members also exchange experiences on how to implement the agreement more effectively and efficiently. The current chair is .
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 circulated in March 2023.
Every three years, WTO members are mandated to review the work of the TBT Committee, taking into consideration changes and new challenges in the area of standards and regulations. The Ninth Triennial Review of the Operation and Implementation of the TBT Agreement was completed at the 10-12 November 2021 meeting of the TBT Committee. Further details, including the adopted report, proposals, timeline and background information are here.
Transparency is a cornerstone of the TBT Agreement and consists of three core elements:
- establishment of enquiry points
- publication requirements.
This toolkit contains information on the transparency obligations and procedures, and related work in the Committee, as well as other resources.
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Find jurisprudence concerning the TBT Agreement:
- Analytical Index — Guide to WTO Law and Practice
- WTO Appellate Body Repertory of Reports and Awards (5th edition: 1995-2013)
- WTO Dispute Settlement: One-Page Case Summaries (1995-2012)