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The TBT Committee WTO, Trade and Environment Division.

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Presentation on theme: "The TBT Committee WTO, Trade and Environment Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 The TBT Committee WTO, Trade and Environment Division

2 Institutional Aspects

3 Representatives of each Member Composition TBT Art. 13

4 Chairperson of the TBT Committee The Committee elects a Chairperson The Chairperson holds office until the end of the first meeting of the following year Participates in the proceedings as such and not as the representative of a Member TBT Art. 13

5 Provides the opportunity of consulting on any matters relating to the operation of the Agreement or the furtherance of its objectives Objectives TBT Art. 13 Specific Trade Concerns Annual/Triennial Reviews

6 Objectives TBT Art. 13 Establishes working parties or other bodies as may be appropriate, which shall carry out such responsibilities as may be assigned to them by the Committee It is understood that unnecessary duplication should be avoided between the work under this Agreement and that of governments in other technical bodies.

7 Objectives TBT Art The TBT Committee is enabled to grant, upon request, specified, time-limited exceptions in whole or in part from obligations under this Agreement The TBT Committee is enabled to grant, upon request, specified, time-limited exceptions in whole or in part from obligations under this Agreement Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Country Members

8 Meetings of the TBT Committee Meets as necessary, but not less than once a year Convened by the Director-General by a notice (airgram) Usually 3 times a year

9 Organization of the Meetings A list of the items proposed for the agenda of the meeting shall be communicated to Members together with the convening notice for the meeting Requests for items to be placed on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting shall be communicated to the Secretariat in writing

10 Agenda for Last Meeting 23 March 2004

11

12 Any WTO Member Submit documents Participate in reviews Submit notifications Participate in meetings and events

13 TBT Committee: Documents Available on the WTO web site G/TBT/ Minutes of meetings Notifications Submissions by Members Notes by the Secretariat Information from observers

14 Special events Workshops often have funding for the participation of developing country Members In 2003 Workshop on Technical Assistance Learning event on labelling Future events Special meeting for Information Exchange Dedicated Session on Conformity assessment procedures

15 Reviews

16 Annual review Triennial review Reviews of the operation and implementation of the Agreement TBT Art

17 The TBT Committee TBT Art Triennial review With a view to recommending adjustments of the rights and obligations of the Agreement where necessary Designed to ensure mutual economic advantage and balance of rights and obligations

18 3 Triennial Reviews 1 st Triennial Review November nd Triennial Review November rd Triennial Review November 2003 Annex 4: Decision of the Committee on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations

19 The Results of the Third Triennial Review

20 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices Conformity Assessment Procedures Technical Assistance and S&D Other Elements Transparency Procedures

21 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration

22 TBT Art Each Member shall, promptly after the date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force for it, inform the Committee of measures in existence or taken to ensure the implementation and administration of the Agreement 92 Members have submitted their statements under Article 15.2

23 Implementation & Administration TBT Art Each Member shall ensure that an enquiry point exists which is able to answer all reasonable enquiries from other Members and interested parties in other Members 121 Members have submitted information on their national enquiry points

24 Implementation & Administration To seek assistance from other Members that have done so to share their knowledge and experience Recommendation The Committee invites Members

25 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices

26 Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) GRP can contribute to the effective implementation of the TBT Agreement In the avoidance of unnecessary obstacles to trade in the preparation, adoption and application of technical regulations and CAPs, including those related to labelling

27 Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) Equivalency can be an element of good regulatory practice Importance of regulators considering the use of different approaches to fulfill legitimate objectives and their taking into account the least-trade restrictive options available to them

28 Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) Recommendations The Committee agrees to Invite Members to exchange experiences related to the identification of elements of GRP at the domestic level Continue its exchanges on Members experiences and focus its discussion, on, inter alia, choice of policy instruments, mandatory versus voluntary measures … Initiate a process of sharing experiences on equivalency in the Committee particularly with regard to how the concept is implemented in practice

29 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices Transparency Procedures

30 More than 60 day comment period should be provided to developing countries Requests to Enquiry Points should be in one of the WTO languages Responses to comments in writing, and possibly shared with the TBT Committee (on a voluntary basis) Disseminate comments and responses by means of national websites Art – developed countries should provide translations of documents covered by notifications without being requested Electronic transmission to the Secretariat On Handling of comments Transparency Procedures

31 Feasibility of creating a central depository for notifications on the WTO website Paragraph L of the Code: electronic publication of the notice can constitute another possibility of fulfilling the transparency obligations On electronic transmission of information Transparency Procedures

32 Amendments to notifications should carry the same document symbol as the original notification Share with the Committee (voluntary basis) follow up information on issues previously brought to its attention On Follow up technical regulations and CAPs brought to the attention of the Committee Transparency Procedures

33 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices Conformity Assessment Procedures Transparency Procedures

34 Importance of using international guides and recommendations Acceptance of results whenever possible The Committee reiterates/ stresses Conformity Assessment Procedures

35 Recommendations Work Programme on CA Exchange information and experiences and hold a workshop on SDoC Exchange information & experiences on Use of relevant IS, guides & recommendations existing CAPs & practices, Participation of Members in accreditation schemes Conformity Assessment Procedures

36 CAP: How is it carried out? Suppliers declaration of Conformity Procedure by which a supplier gives written assurance that a product or process conforms to specified requirements Conformity Assessment by a Second party Procedure by which a second party assures that a product conforms to specified requirements Conformity Assessment by a Third party Procedure by which a third and independent party gives written assurance that a product or process conforms to specified requirements

37 Second Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement When used in appropriate circumstances and for certain sectors, it can Allow flexibility Provide non-discriminatory treatment in the choice of location for testing Reduce uncertainty associated with CAPs in foreign countries Allow cost-saving Suppliers Declarations, A less onerous approach

38 Second Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement Depends on... market surveillance Characteristics of the sector/product Relevant product risks (health, consumer safety, environment issues) Appropriate conditions Legislative framework & infrastructure to safeguards against non-compliance product liability laws Suppliers Declarations may not always be appropriate

39 Second Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement Difficult to meet CAPs requirements in export markets Limited domestic physical and technical resources (lack of accredited laboratories recognized internationally – lack of equipment – different methodologies and results) Lack of human resources (e.g. practitioners) Difficulties in the implementation of relevant international guides and recommendations High costs and legal difficulties in obtaining foreign accreditation Developing countries concerns (in particular SMEs)

40 Recommendations Work Programme on CA (contd) Hold a workshop on the different approaches to conformity assessment, including on the acceptance of conformity assessment results Invite representatives from relevant international and regional accreditation fora to provide information on their operation and the participation of Members, in particular, developing country Members, in their systems Conformity Assessment Procedures

41 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices Conformity Assessment Procedures Technical Assistance and S&D Transparency Procedures

42 Third Triennial Review (2003) The following elements were discussed Implementation & Administration Good Regulatory Practices Conformity Assessment Procedures Technical Assistance and S&D Other Elements Transparency Procedures

43 Other Elements The Committee agrees to That the ISO/IEC could be invited to provide information to the Committee on the revised ISO/IEC Guide 2: 1991 Continue to consider labelling concerns in its discussions in the context of the implementation and operation of the Agreement

44 Specific Trade Concerns

45 Trade concerns: what can you do? Comment on notification - new measure Request explanation of measure from Enquiry Point or Member - existing measure Bilateral consultations Raise issue at the TBT Committee Request consultations Dispute settlement provisions ( Panel)

46 Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns Lighters Producer in Country A Wants to export lighters in Country B A Draft Technical regulation on lighters in Country B has just been notified in order to protect human health from the explosion of these lighters Country A received notification of Country Bs technical regulation through its Enquiry point

47 Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

48 The Enquiry point of Country A circulates Country Bs notification to all national interested parties Country B indicates that it will take Country As comments into account The regulation is more trade restrictive than necessary to protect health Country A sends these comments to Country B Lighters industry provides comments to the EP of Country A Because a less trade restrictive way would be to indicate on the lighter label that it should not stay in the sun! Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

49 Lighters industry pressures the government to do something about it However, lighters industry in country A considers that the modified Country Bs regulation is still more trade restrictive than necessary Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

50 Country B answers that concerns will be transmitted to capital and replied to at the next meeting The government of Country A raises the concern at the multilateral level in the TBT Committee Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

51 Country B amends its draft technical regulation to reflect Country As concerns Country B enters into consultations with Country A Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

52 Country B does not share Country As concerns and eventually adopts the draft regulation as it is 2 possibilities... Country A requests consultations with Country B before the DSB A panel is established... Country A can now export to Country B its lighters Roadmap for the solution of trade concerns

53 Specific trade concerns raised in the Committee from How Many? Approximately 110 concerns raised Who? On measures taken by 25 Members

54 Specific trade concerns raised in the Committee from On What? Food products, beverages and spirits Chemical products Textiles products Machinery and mechanical appliances /electrical equipment Vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment

55 Some typical type of concerns More trade restrictive than necessary Discriminatory Rationale for the measure Failure/Delay to notify Entry into force of the measure Failure to reply to comments Not in line with international standards Most of the trade concerns raised are dealt with bilaterally


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