Accreditation and WTO requirements

WTO TBT Agreement

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

  • TBT:  Barriers to trade created by technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures when they are established for national trade protection reasons.
  • TBT became a prominent means of trade protection when the WTO concentrated on reducing tariff and quantitative restrictions to trade.
  • Tariff and quantitative restrictions on imports were replaced with a multitude of national standards and regulations which had the primary intent of:
  • Creating barriers to market entry for foreign producers; and
  • restricting market access to domestic producers
  • Established with the main objective of ensuring that
    • technical regulations;
    • Standards; and
    • Conformity assessment procedures,
  •  Do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.
  • WTO members are required to comply with the agreement and all of its requirements.

Technical Regulations Why Mandatory?

  • Recognized that no country should be prevented from taking legitimate measures necessary to ensure the following:
  • Human or animal health and safety
  • Environmental protection;
  • National security;
  • Regulatory measures are permitted as long as they do not constitute a “means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail” or where they represent a “disguised restriction to international trade”.

What are the principles of WTO agreements?

TBT PrinciplesTechnical regulationsConformity assessment proceduresStandards
Avoidance of unnecessary obstacles to trade

Results of agreements/Arrangements

Accreditation and WTO requirements-International linkage