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Transparency Procedures in the TBT Agreement WTO, Trade and Environment Division.

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Presentation on theme: "Transparency Procedures in the TBT Agreement WTO, Trade and Environment Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transparency Procedures in the TBT Agreement WTO, Trade and Environment Division

2 WTO and Transparency Key WTO Principle Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible Information assists industry Transparency aids compliance

3 Transparency in the TBT Agreement For Technical Regulations Articles 2, 3 and 10 Article 10, Annex 3: paras. J, L, M, N, O & P Articles 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 For Standards For Conformity Assessment Procedures

4 Transparency in the TBT Agreement 1. Notifications 2. Publication 3. Handling of comments 5. Maintenance of an enquiry point 4. Dissemination of information 6. The TBT Committee This afternoon...

5 Notifications

6 Members have to notify what ? Statement on the implementation and administration of the Agreement Draft technical regulations and CAPs, and adopted urgent measures Bilateral and multilateral agreements Adherence to, or withdrawal from, the Code of Good Practice and the existence of a work programme Four Types of Notifications

7 Statement on the implementation and administration of the Agreement

8 Relevant TBT Provision TBT Art. 15.2 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

9 Why? Provide a quick overview of how individual Members have chosen to implement the Agreement Assist Members in meeting their obligations under the Agreement, by enabling them to take stock of their existing legislation & institutional structure

10 What? In 1995, the TBT Committee decided that the Statements should include Relevant Laws and Regulations Name & Address of Enquiry point(s) Publications Time allowed for comments Other national authorities and agencies Measures to ensure that national and sub-national authorities provide early information on their proposals

11 When? A One-Time Notification In case of change, a revision must be provided

12 Who? 92 Members have submitted their statements under Article 15.2

13 Notification of Draft Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (CAPs), and of Adopted Urgent Measures

14 Why to notify? How to know the requirements in Country B? Notification to the WTO! Country A exports lighters Country B drafts a technical regulation on lighters How to comment on them? Information Aids compliance Assists industry

15 Relevant TBT Provisions TBT Art. 2&5 For Technical Regulations Article 2 Article 5 For Conformity Assessment Procedures

16 What? Draft Technical Regulations Draft Conformity Assessment Procedures Conformity Assessment Procedures already adopted for urgent reasons Technical Regulations already adopted for urgent reasons 2.9.2 5.6.2 2.10.1 5.7.1 TBT Articles

17 What? Technical Regulations of Local governments on the level directly below that of the central government Conformity Assessment Procedures of Local governments on the level directly below that of the central government And also... 3.2 7.2 TBT Articles Except when a technical regulation or a conformity assessment procedure is substantially the same as a measure already notified by the central government body

18 What? Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures 6 Types of Documents Must Be Notified... Draft Already adopted for urgent reasons Of local governments on the level directly below that of the central government

19 What? Where urgent problems arise or threaten to arise…. Safety, Health Environmental Protection National Security May omit such of the steps as necessary 2 differences Notification is upon adoption Notification mentions the nature of the urgent problem

20 Conditions? Members must notify a measure when both sets of conditions apply AND The measure may have a significant effect on trade of other Members A relevant international standard does not exist OR TBT Art. 2.9 and 5.6 What is it? The measure is not in accordance with the standard

21 Conditions? The measure may have a significant effect on trade of other Members... When assessing the significance of the effect on trade of technical regulations, such elements should be taken into consideration: The difficulties for producers in other Members to comply with the proposed technical regulations The value of imports in respect of the Members concerned The potential growth of such imports

22 TBT 2.9.2 How? Information on the products covered TBT 5.6.2 And A brief indication of the objective and rationale of the proposed measure A notification must contain And Guidelines developed by the TBT Committee

23 The Format

24 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 1.Member to Agreement notifying: If applicable, name of local government involved (Articles 3.2 and 7.2): Who notifies? If a local government is involved in the technical regulation or the conformity assessment procedure, it has to be mentioned in this section

25 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 2.Agency responsible: Name and address (including telephone and fax numbers, e-mail and web-site addresses, if available) of agency or authority designated to handle comments regarding the notification shall be indicated if different from above: Which agency is responsible for elaborating a proposal or promulgating a technical regulation or a conformity assessment procedure If a different agency handles comments, it must be indicated here

26 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 3.Notified under Article 2.9.2 [ ], 2.10.1 [ ], 5.6.2 [ ], 5.7.1 [ ], other: 5 options 2.9.2 2.10.1 5.6.2 5.7.1 Other 3.2 7.2 8.1 9.2 Proposed TR by central body Adopted TR by central body Proposed CAP by central body Adopted CAP by central body Proposed/Adopted TR by local body Proposed/Adopted CAP by local body Adopted CAP by Non gov body Adopted CAP by intal/regal body

27 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form Technical Regulation Conformity Assessment Procedure Central Government Body Local Government Body Internal/ regional organization Technical Regulation Conformity Assessment Procedure Non-Governmental Body Conformity Assessment Procedure Proposed Adopted Proposed Adopted Proposed Adopted Proposed Adopted Art. 2.9.2 Art. 2.10.1 Art. 5.6.2 Art. 5.7.1 Art. 3.2 Art. 7.2 Art. 8.1 Art. 9.2 To summarize... the following may be notified...:

28 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form In practice, almost all notifications are made under Articles 2.9.2 and 5.6.2: – Notifications from 1995 to 2003 (by article) –

29 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 4.Products covered (HS or CCCN where applicable, otherwise national tariff heading. ICS numbers may be provided in addition, where applicable): Clear description of the products covered in the measure (including tariff headings)

30 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 5.Title, number of pages and language(s) of the notified document: Under this section, the following information is also provided: -the language(s) in which notified documents are available; and, -if a translation of the document is planned or available.

31 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 6.Description of content: Contains a clear description of the content of the proposed or adopted technical regulation or conformity assessment procedure

32 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 7.Objective and rationale, including the nature of urgent problems where applicable: The legitimate objective of the measure may be indicated here.

33 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form Notifications in 2003 – Legitimate objectives stated Protection of human health or safety

34 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 8.Relevant documents: A reference to the following documents may be provided: -the publication where a notice appears; -the proposal and basic document to which the proposal refers; -the publication in which the proposal will appear when adopted; -whenever practicable, the reference to a relevant international standard.

35 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 9.Proposed date of adoption: Proposed date of entry into force:

36 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 10.Final date for comments: A specific and final date by which Members may submit comments. The Committee has recommended a normal time limit for comments on notifications of 60 days. Any Member which is able to provide a time limit beyond 60 days is encouraged to do so. Members are encouraged to advise of any extension to the final date for comments.

37 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form 11.Texts available from: National enquiry point [ ] or address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail and web-site addresses, if available of the other body: Information on whether the text of the measure is available from the national enquiry point or from another body. Members also indicate here the exact address, where available, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the body responsible for supplying the relevant documents if that body is not the enquiry point.

38 How? 11 Sections in a Notification Form Item 1 - Government making the notification Item 2 - Body elaborating a proposal (TR or CAP) Item 3 - Relevant provision of the Agreement Item 4 - Clear description of the product Item 5 - Title of proposal, number of pages, language. Indicate translations or summaries To summarize...

39 How? Guidelines of the TBT Committee Item 6 - Abstract, main features of the proposed/adopted measure Item 7 - Legitimate objective Item 8 - Any relevant document (publications). Reference to international standards Item 9 - Adoption and entry into force Item 10 - Final date for comments - normal time-limit of 60 days! Item 11 - Where to find the text of the measure To summarize...

40 When? TBT 2.9.2 Amendments can still be introduced TBT 5.6.2 And Comments taken into account Notifications shall take place at an early appropriate stage, when And TBT Committee: when a draft with the complete text is available

41 When? TBT 2.10.1 TBT 5.7.1 And Notifications must be made immediately upon adoption For technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures adopted for urgent reasons….

42 How Many? Total number of TBT notifications, 1995-2003 By 80 Members

43 How Many? Notifications by Region

44 How Many? Notifications made by participating Members... 49 notifications (articles 2.9 and 5.6)

45 Notification of Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements

46 Notification of bilateral and multilateral agreements Whenever a Member has reached an agreement TBT Art.10.7 Must NOTIFY it through the Secretariat With one or more countries On issues related to technical regulations, standards or CAPs That may have a significant effect on trade

47 The Format

48 TBT notifications under Article 10.7

49 Geographical Repartition of Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements Notified

50 Notification of Acceptance of, or Withdrawal from, the Code of Good Practice and the Existence of a Work Programme

51 What is the Code of Good Practice? Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards It lays down disciplines in respect of central government, local government, non- governmental and regional standardizing bodies developing voluntary standards

52 Who may accept the Code? This Code is open to Any standardizing body within the territory of a Member, whether Any governmental regional standardizing body one or more members of which are WTO Members Any non-governmental regional standardizing body one or more members of which are situated within the territory of WTO Member A central government body A local government body A non-government body

53 Which Provisions are contained in the Code? Members must Take "such reasonable measures" as may be available to them to ensure that standardization bodies, which are on their territory or to which they are related, accept and comply with the Code Not take measures which have the effect of requiring or encouraging such standardizing bodies to act in a manner inconsistent with the Code Standardization Bodies must Assume the general disciplines of the TBT Agreement

54 Notification Obligations Standardization Bodies must notify Their acceptance of, or withdrawal from, the Code of Good Practice (Paragraph C) The existence of a work programme (Paragraph J) ISO/WTO Guidelines on Notifications

55 Notification Under Paragraph C Notifications are made through the ISO/IEC Information Center in Geneva, or through the national member body of ISO/IEC, or, preferably, through the relevant national member or international affiliate of ISONET. Copies are sent by ISO/IEC to the WTO Secretariat, and are circulated to WTO Members. Notifications are made through the ISO/IEC Information Center in Geneva, or through the national member body of ISO/IEC, or, preferably, through the relevant national member or international affiliate of ISONET. Copies are sent by ISO/IEC to the WTO Secretariat, and are circulated to WTO Members. Standardizing bodies that have accepted or withdrawn from this Code shall notify this fact

56 Format of the Notification Under Paragraph C (Acceptance)

57 Format of the Notification Under Paragraph C (Withdrawal)

58 Standardizing bodies that have accepted the Code 144 standardizing bodies from 104 Members 74 central governmental standardizing bodies 61 non governmental standardizing bodies 2 statutory bodies 2 parastatal bodies 3 non-governmental regional bodies 1 central governmental/ non governmental body 1 autonomous body

59 Standardizing bodies that have accepted the Code

60 Notification Under Paragraph J Standardization bodies, that have accepted the Code, have to notify the existence of a work programme no later than at the time of its publication, i.e. at least twice a year Notifications are sent the ISO/IEC Information Center, or preferably, through the relevant national member or international affiliate of ISONET, as appropriate

61 Format of the Notification Under Paragraph J

62 General Notification Aspects

63 Who is Responsible? TBT Art. 10.10 Members shall designate a single central government authority that is responsible for the implementation on the national level of the provisions concerning notification procedures under this Agreement except those included in Annex 3 Code of Good Practice

64 Who is Responsible? TBT Art. 10.11 Where the responsibility for notification issues is divided among several central government authorities Members must provide complete and unambiguous information on the scope of responsibility of each authority

65 Notify in which language? The official languages of the WTO English French Spanish or TBT Art. 10. 9

66 Where do I send notifications? WTO Secretariat Central Registry of Notifications CRN@wto.org Fax: +41 22 739 5197 1) Statement on implementation and administration of the Agreement 2) Notifications of technical regulations and CAPs 3) Notifications of bilateral or plurilateral Agreements

67 And the WTO Secretariat? Circulates notifications among Members Mission in Geneva Translates them into the three official languages Monthly lists of notifications WTO Website

68 Notifications: symbols 1.Statement on Implementation and Administration of the Agreement:G/TBT/2/Add.# 2.Notifications of technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures: G/TBT/N/Country Symbol/# 3.Notifications of bilateral or plurilateral agreements: G/TBT/N/10.7/#

69 Notifications: symbols Notifications of acceptance of or withdrawal from the Code of Good Practice:G/TBT/CS/N/# Monthly list of notifications (prepared by the Secretariat):G/TBT/GEN/# List of Enquiry Points (prepared by the Secretariat)G/TBT/ENQ/#

70 Other TBT Transparency Procedures

71 Transparency in the TBT Agreement 1. Notifications 2. Publication 3. Handling of comments 5. Maintenance of an enquiry point 4. Dissemination of information 6. The TBT Committee

72 Publication

73 Publication Obligations of Members Pre-Adoption Stage Members must publish a notice of the measure when both sets of conditions apply AND The measure may have a significant effect on trade of other Members A relevant international standard does not exist OR TBT Art. 2.9.1 and 5.6.1 The measure is not in accordance with the standard This obligation may be waived in case of emergency

74 Publication Obligations of Members Post-Adoption Stage Members must publish promptly all a adopted technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures TBT Art. 2.11 and 5.8 The measure is not in accordance with the standard those which did not have a significant effect on trade of other Members or those which were in accordance with an international standard Including...

75 Publication Obligations of Members Post-Adoption Stage Members must leave a reasonable interval between the publication of technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures and their entry into force, except in case of urgent circumstances TBT Art. 2.12 and 5.9

76 Definition of a reasonable interval TBT Art. 2.12 Publication Entry into force Not less than 6 months When this would be ineffective in fulfilling the legitimate objectives pursued Except In urgent circumstances

77 Publication Obligations of Standardization Bodies Related to the Work Programme Standardization bodies must publish Code of Good Practice, Paragraph J Their work programme A notice of the existence of the work programme The TBT Committee agreed in 1999 that the communication of the work programmes of standardizing bodies via the internet would be another possibility to fulfill Paragraph J obligations What is contained in the work programme?

78 Standardizing bodies must publish, at least every six months, a work programme containing the following information Their name and address The standards they are currently preparing The standards they have adopted in the preceding period Publication Obligations of Standardization Bodies Related to the Work Programme

79 Publication Obligations of Standardization Bodies Related to Standards Standardization bodies must publish Code of Good Practice, Paras. L & O A notice specifying the comment period of a standard The text of the standard

80 Procedures for Dissemination and Exchange of Information

81 Provision of copies Provision and sharing of translations Electronic tools Regular Meetings of Persons Responsible for Information Exchange

82 Provision of copies Provide copies of proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures Members must, upon request, And, whenever possible, identify the parts of the measure which in substance deviate from relevant international standards Articles 2.9.3 and 5.6.3

83 Provision of copies Requests for documentation should include all the elements permitting the identification of the documents and in particular, the WTO TBT notification number (G/TBT/Notif.) All the elements permitting the identification of the documents and the notification number should also appear on the documents supplied in response to such requests How to handle requests for documentation? Any request for documentation should be processed if possible within 5 working days If a delay in supplying the documentation is foreseen, this should be acknowledged to the requester, along with an estimate of when the documents can be provided

84 Provision of copies Provide hard copies of draft and adopted standards, and of the most recent work programme Standardization Bodies must, upon request, Afford national treatment to requests from foreign interested parties, with due adjustments to be made for differential costs of delivery Code Paras. M and P

85 To summarize... Requests contain the elements permitting the identification of a document Process them within 5 working days

86 Provision of Translations The documents covered by a specific notification Developed country Members must, upon request, provide in 1 of the 3 official WTO languages, translations of In case of voluminous documents, summaries of such documents Article 10.5, 10.8 OR The publication of texts/the provision of details/copies of drafts other than in the language of the Member is not required (except for developed country Members)

87 Sharing of Translations Document Request Other Requesting Members are Encouraged to Share Existing Translations in WTO Languages Translation/ Summary Exists or planned Must be Indicated in the Notification Form Any Translated Summary in Requesters Language or in WTO Language must be Automatically Sent Recommendation of the TBT Committee

88 The use of electronic tools The TBT Agreement does not contain provisions relating to the use of electronic tools However, since 1999, the use of the Internet as a means to facilitate access to, and exchange of, information has been a constant theme of discussion in the TBT Committee The TBT Committee encouraged Members, whenever possible, to file notifications by downloading, filling out and returning the complete form by e-mail to the Secretariat

89 Electronic transmission of information 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 Electronic circulation of notifications encouraged

90 Regular Meetings of Persons Responsible for Information Exchange To give Members the opportunity to discuss the activities and problems relating to information exchange and to review periodically the functioning of notification procedures Why? How often? When is the next one? Every 2 years Who can participate? Persons responsible for information exchange, including persons responsible for enquiry points and notifications 2-3 November 2004

91 Comments on Proposed Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures

92 Length of time allowed for comments Allow reasonable time for other Members to make comments in writing Members are required prior to the adoption of a technical regulation or of a conformity assessment procedure to Discuss these comments upon request Articles 2.9.4 and 5.6.4 Take these written comments and the results of these discussions into account

93 Length of time for comments The TBT Committee decided that the normal time limit for presentation of comments on notified technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures should be 60 days

94 Length of time for comments Length of time for comments on notified technical regulations and CAPS 60 days or beyond Indicated in the notification

95 Handling of comments Acknowledge receipt Explain How taken into account Provide additional relevant information Provide Copy of regulation as adopted Or, information of non- adoption

96 Results of the Third Triennial Review (2003) 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. 10.5 – developed countries should provide translations of documents covered by notifications without being requested Electronic transmission to the Secretariat On Handling of comments

97 TBT Notifications Average time allowed for comments

98 1.Drafting of the Measure 2.Publication of a Notice 3.Notification to other Members 4.Provision of Copies 5.Discussion of the Comments 6.Adoption of the Measure 7.Publication of the Measure...Time... 8.Entry into Force of the Measure Min. 6 months

99 Enquiry Points

100 WTO Members must set up a national enquiry point Establishment of an Enquiry Point Concerns institutions that are in a position to answer queries on documents issued by bodies with regulatory authority, that is central and local government bodies, and non-governmental bodies, which are entrusted with the legal power to enforce a technical regulation Article 10.1 Relates to enquiries on documents issued by other non-governmental bodies and regional bodies of which they are members Article 10.3 If more than one enquiry point is established, Members must provide complete and unambiguous information on the scope of responsibility of each enquiry point

101 Enquiry Points must respond to reasonable enquiries and provide relevant documents regarding: Art. 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 Technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures Membership and participation in international and regional standardizing bodies and conformity assessment systems / bilateral and multilateral arrangements Location of notices published Location of other Enquiry Points Functioning of Enquiry Points

102 Enquiry Points: Related obligations Supply copies of requested documents to Members and interested parties of Members at an equitable price Provide translations or summaries of the documents related to a notification

103 What is a reasonable enquiry? An enquiry point is mandated to answer all "reasonable enquiries" Articles 10.1 and 10.3 When it is limited to a specific product, or group of products

104 Using the Enquiry Point: Beyond Obligations Collect/disseminate TBT information –TBT documents –TBT notifications received Inform other government agencies, private sector Coordinate comments on other countries notifications Submit comments – follow-up


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