technical barriers to trade

TBT Committee Thematic Session on Transparency

At the conclusion of the Eighth Triennial Review, Members agreed to continue to hold thematic sessions in conjunction with the Committee's regular meetings during 2019-2021, with a view to further deepening the Committee's exchange of experiences on specific topics. On this basis, the Committee agreed to hold a thematic session on transparency in February 2021. It builds on the thematic session on transparency held in June 2019 and compiles specific proposals put forth by Members.

Geneva, WTO Headquarters (Virtual)

The thematic session was moderated by Mr. Laurence Sandral, Chair of the TBT Committee.
Chair's Report


Update from the Secretariat on the status of Committee recommendations related to transparency.

Online tools:

  • Update from the Secretariat on recent developments with online tools it has created to facilitate the transparency provisions in the TBT Agreement.
  • European Union: ePing in general, Ana Rodriguez Perez, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Grow.


At the conclusion of the Eighth Triennial Review, Members agreed to hold an initial discussion on how to improve ľ and what challenges exist for ľ the identification of products including with respect to the use of ICS and/or HS codes and/or product names where precise codes do not apply. The two general presentations below are intended to contribute to this discussion.

  • An overview on HS Codes, Roy Santana, Counsellor, Market Access Division, WTO.
  • An overview of ICS Codes, Luigi Principi, ISO Secretariat.


Using ePing to disseminate comments and replies on notifications

At the conclusion of the Eighth Triennial Review, the Committee agreed to encourage Members to disseminate comments and replies related to notifications on a voluntary basis and to consider using ePing for this purpose.

Experiences with the commenting process and preparation of a good practice guide

At the conclusion of the Eighth Triennial Review, Members agreed to develop a good practice guide on how to prepare a comment on a notification.

  • European Union: Preparing comments, Gabriela Szmidt, TBT Enquiry Point, DG Grow.
  • United States: How the Inquiry Point facilitates the sharing of comments from US industry and government on WTO Member notifications and WTO Member comments on US notifications, MaryAnn Hogan, US WTO TBT Inquiry Point, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • China: How to prepare comments to TBT Notifications - The Practice of China, Yang Song, Director, WTO/TBT National Notification and Enquiry Center of People's Republic of China.


At the conclusion of the Eighth Triennial Review, Members agreed to discuss good practices for domestic coordination and engagement with regulators, including sharing information about how Members effectively communicate with regulatory agencies to ensure that all relevant notifications are made. During the thematic session on transparency held in June 2019, Members also pointed out the importance of effective stakeholder engagement in the notification process.

  • Chinese Taipei: Enhancing Private Sector Engagement in TBT Notifications - Experiences from the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Roy Chun Lee, Senior Deputy Executive Director, WTO & RTA Center, Chung-Hua Institution Economic Research.
  • United Kingdom: Raising awareness of WTO TBT obligations through the UK's Regulation Impact Assessment and cross-government coordination initiatives, Tom Digby-Rogers, Head, WTO TBT Committee, Department for International Trade, United Kingdom Government.
  • Ecuador: Ecuador's Experience with TBT notifications: the functioning of the national Enquiry Point, Jeannette Marino, Director, Strategic Quality Management.
  • United States: Transparency and stakeholder participation in addressing evolving technologies and other regulatory issues, Julie Abraham, Executive Director, Office of International Transportation and Trade, United States Department of Transportation.



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