ESTA NOTICIA tiene como finalidad ayudar al público a comprender los nuevos acontecimientos de la OMC. Si bien se ha hecho todo lo posible para asegurar que el contenido de la información sea exacto, ésta se entiende sin perjuicio de las posiciones de los gobiernos Miembros.
La posición oficial figura en las actas de las reuniones.
Meeting as the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee, Members are trying to find pragmatic ways to implement the TBT Agreement — ways that will make its implementation more effective. They agreed to accelerate the task after the WTO’s summer break in August (more below).
Once again, health featured heavily in the discussion of specific trade concerns, the committee’s core activity in monitoring how members are implementing the agreement. Other topics ranged from tobacco products, food labelling, genetically modified organisms, greenhouse gases and telecommunications equipment.
The committee also examined ways of improving an activity that is vital for its work — the way members share information with each other on technical standards and regulations (through “notifications”), and provide each other an opportunity to comment on new or proposed measures. The EU has proposed establishing common criteria for the use of notification formats.
In a related matter, some delegations are testing a new on-line TBT notification submission system, which will speed up the notification process.
The TBT Committee deals with technical regulations and standards, and their implications for trade. The WTO’s World Trade Report 2012 shows how regulatory measures for trade in goods and services raise new and pressing challenges for international cooperation in the 21st century.
Good regulatory practices
The present focus in the work on good regulatory practices is on developing a list of voluntary principles and mechanisms that represent best practices in developing and applying regulations.
Using these to improve the way countries implement the TBT Agreement would avoid unnecessary obstacles to international trade by making regulations and conformity assessment procedures — and the processes through which they are set — more transparent, open and predictable. This, in turn would benefit companies and countries with limited resources trying to meet the requirements of their export markets.
The principles include openness and accountability, good coordination at home between government agencies and stakeholders, analysis and evaluation of regulatory options based on evidence, and international cooperation among governments.
The mechanisms include various means of applying the principles as well as ways of minimizing the burden of implementing the regulation for all concerned, of implementing and enforcing the regulations, and of taking into account the needs of developing countries.
Members are working on a draft that includes a series of suggested steps that governments could follow through the life of a TBT measure, from the proposal stage to review, amendment or repeal. The steps include examples of mechanisms countries could apply at each stage and are accompanied by references to provisions in the TBT Agreement.
“While the [latest revision of the draft] is an improvement, further work is needed,” chairperson Jingo Kikukawa of Japan reported to the committee after consulting members. He added: “this elaboration of best practices, I believe, should help us all — but in particular developing country members — when implementing the agreement. I therefore cannot stress enough the importance of members’ engagement in this process.”
Specific trade concerns
Members discussed 39 specific trade concerns, including 14 new issues. The issues discussed revolved around topics such as tobacco products (Ireland, EU), alcoholic beverages (Russia, EU), GMOs (Peru), fluorinated greenhouse gases (EU), chemical substances (Korea, US, EU) including EU’s Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH), medicinal and medical devices (China, EU, Brazil, ), labeling and certification of food products (Indonesia, EU, Peru, Viet Nam, Chile), pneumatic tyres (India), solar panels (Korea), telecommunications (India), cosmetics (China), medical instruments (China), toy safety (Indonesia).
Ireland — proposal to introduce standardized packaging of tobacco (new)
Ireland is the first EU member to propose introducing standardized plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products revived the intense debate seen in previous meetings, with a number of tobacco-growing developing countries calling the measure excessive.
The Irish proposal follows similar proposals from New Zealand and Australia, discussed in previous meetings of this Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee and the Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council. In Australia’s case this has now become law and is subject to a set of formal legal disputes (cases DS434, DS435 and DS441).
In this meeting, Malawi, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Zimbabwe and Nigeria urged Ireland to adopt less trade-restrictive measures to achieve its objective of public health. Australia, New Zealand and Norway supported for the proposal.
Among the concerns raised was the lack of scientific basis, uncertainty about the means of attaining the objective, the possible adverse effects, and the negative effect on the competitiveness of least developed countries (LDCs). Some members asked Ireland to suspend the proposal until the on-going disputes against Australia’s plain packaging law had been concluded. In addition, several members referred to the previously raised concern about the proposed European Union Directive on tobacco products (Tobacco Products Directive — “TPD“), which is the basis of the Irish move. The European Union, also supported by a number of Members, said that it was premature to discuss the measure in the Committee as it was still in a draft stage.
Peru — Act to Promote Healthy Eating among Children and Adolescents (new)
The act will require mandatory warning statements and established thresholds for certain nutrients. According to several Members, the measure is more trade-restrictive than necessary and is not based on relevant guides developed by the Codex Guidelines on Nutritional Labelling.
Mexico, the United States, Argentina, the EU, Switzerland and Guatemala urged Peru to adopt less trade-restrictive approaches such as information campaigns and daily intakes expressed in percentages, which correspond to international standards such as the Codex. Members also raised concerns regarding the exact scope and applicability of the measure as well as its implementation period. Moreover, members invited Peru to notify the measure to the TBT Committee, to consider longer timeframe for transparency purposes, as well as longer period of entry into force to allow debates and comments.
Peru explained that the measure had been implemented on 10 May 2013 and announced that, in accordance with WTO obligations, they would re-evaluate the measure based on comments received.
Chile’s proposed amendment to food health regulations
The amendment aims at adding specific warnings such as “high in calories”, or “high salt” on food products. The objective is to inform the public of the content of the food it consumes in order to encourage it to avoid unnecessary, excessive intake, which can lead to obesity and related non‑communicable diseases. Some Members emphasized that no thresholds had been established by the Codex for the nutrients targeted by the Chilean legislation and that the Chilean warnings could risk stigmatizing some foods whose moderate consumption formed part of a healthy diet.
Mexico, Guatemala, the European Union, United States, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Switzerland and Costa Rica reiterated their concerns regarding the proposed amendment. Some issues were raised on the conformity with the transparency principle, the TBT Agreement and the national treatment principle; and the compliance with international standards such as the Codex Guidelines on Nutritional Labelling.
Members called on Chile to consider more trade-friendly alternatives such as promotional campaigns aimed at raising awareness. Chile was also requested to postpone the implementation deadline of the amendment to allow for adjustments, and to notify the measure to the TBT Committee.
Chile argued that this legislative change had been generated by an obesity epidemic. Furthermore, they explained that during the preparation of the final draft, experts from various countries, including the EU and US, had provided suggestions and Chile would work on taking these into account — for instance, Chile noted that the earlier proposal of using an octagonal shape (similar to a STOP sign) for the warning signs had now been abandoned and that they are working on a new logo.
(could be changed):
- 29–31 October 2013 — regular committee meeting, and thematic discussion on special and differential treatment, conformity assessment procedures and transparency matters
Chairperson: Mr. Jingo Kikukawa (Japan)
These are some of the trade issues or concerns discussed or information supplied by members.
- Ireland — Proposal to introduce standardised/plain packaging of tobacco products in Ireland — concerns of Malawi and the Dominican Republic
- European Union — Transformation of still wine into sparkling wine EC Regulation 479/2008 of 29 April 2008 notifications G/TBT/N/EEC/181, G/TBT/N/EEC/181/Add.1 — concerns of Australia
- European Union — Regulation (EU) No 481/2012 as regards the validity of certificates of authenticity for high-quality beef concerns of Argentina
- Peru — Act to Promote Healthy Eating Among Children and Adolescents — concerns of Mexico and the United States
- United States — Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: various products — concern of China
- United States — Proposed Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances — notification G/TBT/N/USA/814 — concern of China
- China — Innovative medical instruments and provisions for simplifying application materials for re-registration of medical instruments G/TBT/N/CHN/965 concern of European Union and the United States
- China — China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) EMC Enforcement Notice for medical devices of 19 December, 2012 — notification G/TBT/N/CHN/966 concern of the European Union and the United States
- Indonesia — Ministry of Trade Regulation 82/M-DAG/PER/12/2012 on imported cell phones, handheld and tablet computers — concern of the European Union
- Indonesia — Ministry of Health Regulation 30/2013 on the inclusion of sugar, salt and fat content in- concerns of formation, as well as health messages on the label of processed foods — concern of the European Union
- Russia — Safety of light industry products — notification G/TBT/N/RUS/14 — concern of the European Union
- European Union — Proposal for a Regulation on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases — notification G/TBT/N/EU/91 — concern of United States
- Peru — Implementing Regulations of 14 November 2012 for Moratorium on Planting Genetically Engineered Crops — concern of the United States
- European Union — Revised Proposal for the Categorization of Compounds as Endocrine Disruptors of 19 February 2013 by DG Environment — concern of the United States
- European Union — Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) notifications G/TBT/N/EEC/52 and Adds.1-7; Add.3/Rev.1, G/TBT/N/EEC/295, G/TBT/N/EEC/295/Add.1; G/TBT/N/EEC/297, G/TBT/N/EEC/297/Rev.1, G/TBT/N/EEC/297/Rev.1/Add.1; G/TBT/N/EEC/333, G/TBT/N/EEC/333/Add.1, G/TBT/N/EEC/334, G/TBT/N/EEC/334/Add.1; G/TBT/N/EEC/335, G/TBT/N/EEC/335/Add.1; G/TBT/N/EEC/336, G/TBT/N/EEC/336/Add.1; G/TBT/W/208 — concern of India, China and the United States
- India — Pneumatic tyres and tubes for automotive vehicles notifications G/TBT/N/IND/20, G/TBT/N/IND/20/Add.1, G/TBT/N/IND/40, G/TBT/N/IND/40/Rev.1 — concern of Japan, the European Union and Korea
- China — Testing and Certification Requirements for Medical Devices — concern of the European Union
- India — Mandatory Certification for Steel Products notifications G/TBT/N/IND/32, G/TBT/N/IND/32/Add.1; G/TBT/N/IND/32/Add.2 — concern of European Union
- Brazil — Health Products Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Requirements for Health Products — notification G/TBT/N/BRA/328 — concern of European Union
- Korea — KS C IEC61646:2007 Standard for Thin-film Solar Panels — concern of the United States
- India — Telecommunications Related Rules — concern of Canada, the European Union and the United States
- China — Requirements for information security products (including, inter alia, the OSCCA 1999 Regulation on commercial encryption products and its on-going revision and the Multi-Level Protection Scheme (MLPS) — concern of the European Union
- China — Provisions for the Administration of Cosmetics Application Acceptance Cosmetics Label Instructions Regulations and Guidance for the Cosmetics Label Instructions — notifications G/TBT/N/CHN/821, G/TBT/N/CHN/937 — concern of Japan and the European Union
- Korea — Regulation on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Material — notification G/TBT/N/KOR/305 — concern of the United States
- France — Loi No. 2010-788: The National Commitment for the Environment (Grenelle 2 Law) — concern of India
- European Union — Directive 2009/28/EC, Renewable Energy Directive (EU — RED) — concern of Indonesia
- Colombia — Commercial Truck Diesel Emissions Regulation Proposed modifications to Resolutions 910 of 2008 and 2604 of 2009 on Diesel Emissions notifications G/TBT/N/COL/185; G/TBT/N/COL/186 — concern of Mexico
- Peru — Draft Supreme Decree approving the Regulations Governing the Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods — notifications G/TBT/N/PER/37; G/TBT/N/PER/37/Add.1 — concern of United States
- Indonesia — Technical Guidelines for the Implementation of the Adoption and Supervision of Indonesian National Standards for Obligatory Toy Safety — Draft Decree of the Ministry of Industry on Mandatory Implementation of Indonesia National Standard and Technical Specification for Toys — notification G/TBT/N/IDN/64 — concern of European Union
- Russian Federation — Draft Technical Regulation of the Customs Union on alcoholic products safety — notification G/TBT/N/RUS/2 — concern of European Union and the United States
- European Union — Directive 2011/62/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to Medicinal Products for Human Use, as regards the Prevention of the Entry into the Legal supply Chain of Falsified Medicinal Products — concern of India
- 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 — notifications G/TBT/N/EEC/264, G/TBT/N/EEC/264/Add.1 — concern of Argentina and the United States
- Viet Nam — Decree regulating the Implementation of Some Articles of Food Safety Law — Decree 38 implementing the Food Safety Law — notifications G/TBT/N/VNM/22, G/TBT/N/VNM/22/Suppl.1 — concern of European Union
- Brazil — Draft ANVISA Resolution on Used, Refurbished, Rented and Lent Medical Devices — notification G/TBT/N/BRA/440 — concern of the European Union
- Israel — Warning Regulations on Alcoholic Beverages — notification G/TBT/N/ISR/609 — concern of European Union and the United States
- India — Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012 — notifications G/TBT/N/IND/44 and G/TBT/IND/44/Add.1 — concern of European Union, the United States and Korea
- United Arab Emirates — Conformity Assessment Procedure for Automobile Tyres — notification G/TBT/N/ARE/116 — concern of European Union
- Chile — Proposed amendment to the Food Health Regulations, Supreme Decree No. 977/96. — notifications G/TBT/N/CHL/219, G/TBT/N/CHL/219/Add.1. — concern of Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, the European Union and the United States
- Korea — Draft amendment of Ordinance and Regulation of Motor Vehicle Control Act — notifications G/TBT/N/KOR/342 and G/TBT/N/KOR/342/Add.1 — concern of the European Union
- European Union — Tobacco products, nicotine containing products and herbal products for smoking. Packaging for retail sale of any of the aforementioned products — notification G/TBT/N/EU/88 — concern of Malawi, Nicaragua and Cuba.
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