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Mauritius Standards Bureau>Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement


Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement

 

The main objective of the TBT Agreement is to ensure that technical regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures (conformity assessment procedures) do not constitute unnecessary barriers to international trade. This is achieved through a delineation of a number of legitimate objectives for which mandatory technical requirements may be developed, and through a number of principles, which govern the preparation, adoption and application of mandatory and voluntary requirements and conformity assessment procedures, such as

1.      non-discrimination,

2.      the avoidance of unnecessary obstacles to international trade,

3.      harmonization, 

4.    the equivalence of technical regulations and of the results of conformity assessment procedures,

5.      mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures, and

6.      transparency

 

The TBT Agreement is premised on an acknowledgement of the right of WTO Members to develop technical requirements, and to ensure that they are complied with. The scope of the Agreement extends to central and local governmental standardizing bodies, as well as to non-governmental ones.

 

Technical regulations and product standards may vary from country to country. Having many different regulations and standards makes life difficult for producers and exporters. If regulations are set arbitrarily, they could be used as an excuse for protectionism.

 

The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade tries to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles, while also providing members with the right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or the environment.

 

The TBT Agreement may be accessed from the WTO Website






 

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