New World Trade Organization (WTO) Handbook – The Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement

March 3, 2021

A new WTO publication provides an overview of the purpose and scope of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), the types of measures it covers and its key principles. Prepared by the WTO Secretariat, this new edition in the “WTO Agreements” series aims at enhancing understanding of the TBT Agreement.

The TBT Agreement aims to ensure that product requirements in regulations and standards - on safety, quality, health, etc. – and procedures for assessing product compliance with such requirements (testing, inspection, accreditation, etc.) are not unjustifiably discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

This handbook sets out the key principles of the TBT Agreement and discusses how these have been addressed in recent disputes brought under this Agreement. The publication looks into requirements on transparency, a cornerstone of the TBT Agreement, and describes the mandate, role and work of the TBT Committee.

The publication contains the full text of the TBT Agreement, a compilation of decisions and recommendations by the TBT Committee over the past 25 years and a list of observers in the TBT Committee.

The publication contains many substantive updates, changes and additions as compared to previous editions (this is the 3rd edition). It can be downloaded here. Printed copies can be purchased from the WTO's Online Bookshop.

Accessible to: 
International Initiatives
Information Source: 
World Customs Organization (WCO) / World Trade Organization (WTO)
Document Type: 
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