Second triennial review of the operation and implementation of the agreement on technical barriers to trade I. Introduction




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G. Other Elements


48. The Committee noted that concerns regarding labelling were raised frequently in the Committee meetings during discussions on the implementation and operation of the Agreement. In this regard, the Committee reiterated the importance of any such requirements being consistent with the disciplines of the Agreement, and in particular stressed that they should not become disguised restrictions on trade.
ANNEX 1
ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED BY THE COMMITTEE

DURING THE PERIOD OF 1998-2000


A. workshop and special meeting on procedures for information exchange held on 14 september 1998


1. The event was attended by representatives from capitals, including those from developing and least developed countries, responsible for information exchange. At the Workshop, the transparency provisions of the Agreement were outlined, and several national and regional experiences concerning enquiry points and notification procedures presented. The importance of disseminating standard information to industry was highlighted. A number of difficulties and problems faced by national enquiry points and with respect to notification procedures were addressed and proposals were made to improve the situation, including by ways of enhancing electronic information exchange and technical assistance. A number of representatives from developing country Members indicated the problems they experienced with respect to raising national awareness among government agencies and industries of the importance, benefits and the obligations under the Agreement, and requested technical assistance in the form of workshops and seminars. Some enquiry points faced difficulties in handling the large volumes of information, as well as coordinating their work with relevant regulatory authorities and disseminating information to stakeholders. To overcome these problems, it was suggested that comprehensive efforts, including the involvement and coordination of regulatory authorities, relevant government and local governmental agencies, enquiry points and private sector would be essential. Suggestions were made also to enhance the efforts of cooperation in the regional context.

B.Information Session of Bodies involved in the preparation of international standards held on 19 November 1998


2. The objectives of the Session were to increase the awareness of Members of the activities of bodies involved in the preparation of international standards, to have these bodies take into account of the ongoing discussions on international standards in the Committee, as well as to develop an improved understanding of the role of international standards within the Agreement. Ten organizations were invited (FAO, FAO/WHO Codex, IEC, ISO, OIE, OIML, ITU, OECD, UN/ECE, and WHO). The Committee was informed of the different approaches and procedures adopted by these various bodies in their standardization activities (i.e. their membership and meetings, openness in drawing up programmes, transparency procedures, procedures for comments and decision-making, application of adopted standards, as well as coordination and cooperation with other bodies at the international level).

C.symposium on conformity assessment procedures held on 8 9 june 1999


3. The purpose of the Symposium was to improve understanding on the subject-matter of conformity assessment in the Committee. One of the goals was to explore how the Agreement could further minimize trade barriers as a result of multiple testing and certification requirements. Experts from business, testing laboratory, inspection, certification, accreditation, metrology and standardizing bodies, as well as regional and international systems were invited as speakers and panelists. (They included representatives from the following organizations: ISO, IEC, OIML, ILAC, IAF, OECD, BIPM, APLAC, EA, IAAC, PAC, SADCA and FSC). Information was provided regarding the different types of conformity assessment procedures in the market place, mutual recognition agreements, relevant international guides/standards, regional/international systems and possible technical assistance to developing countries in this area.

D. Workshop on Technical Assistance and Differential Treatment in the context of the TBT Agreement held on 19-20 July 2000


4. The objective of the Workshop was to provide the opportunity for Members that require technical assistance to inform other Members and relevant organizations of the difficulties they encounter in the implementation and operation of the Agreement, and the kind of technical assistance required. At the same time, Members and international organizations providing technical assistance in the TBT area could communicate with the Committee information concerning their technical assistance programmes. The aim was to help better target technical assistance, avoid duplication and promote further cooperation and coordination among donor Members and organizations, aiming at developing efficient and effective technical assistance programmes in the various areas related to the Agreement. Speakers and participants invited included representatives from national and regional bodies, as well as the following organizations: ISO, IEC, FAO/CODEX, PASC, ILAC, IAF, UNIDO, OIML, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, ITC and OAS. The discussion which focused on the following four areas was practical and solution oriented: implementation and administration of the Agreement; international standards; conformity assessment procedures; and capacity building. It highlighted the real world challenges that developing countries faced in regard to pursing both their rights and meeting their obligations under the Agreement. Difficulties and needs of developing country Members were identified, possible solutions were suggested, and information concerning the existing technical assistance programmes by donor countries and organizations was provided.
ANNEX 2
IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLES 15.2 AND 10.1

OF THE AGREEMENT
(as of 10 November 2000)



Member

Enquiry Point

(Notified)

Notification under

Article 15.2

Angola







Antigua and Barbuda







Argentina

X

G/TBT/2/Add.21 and Suppl.2

Australia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.8

Austria

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Bahrain

X

G/TBT/2/Add.19

Bangladesh







Barbados

X

G/TBT/2/Add.48

Belgium

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Belize

X




Benin

X




Bolivia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.43 and Suppl.1

Botswana

X




Brazil

X

G/TBT/2/Add.26

Brunei Darussalam







Bulgaria

X

G/TBT/2/Add.32

Burkina Faso







Burundi

X




Cameroon

X




Canada

X

G/TBT/2/Add.6

Central African (Rep.)







Chad







Chile

X

G/TBT/2/Add.16 and Suppl.1

Colombia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.18

Congo







Congo, Democratic Rep. of







Costa Rica

X

G/TBT/2/Add.51

Côte d'Ivoire

X




Cuba

X

G/TBT/2/Add.13

Cyprus

X

G/TBT/2/Add.46

Czech Republic

X

G/TBT/2

Denmark

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Djibouti

X




Dominica







Dominican Republic

X




Ecuador

X




Egypt

X

G/TBT/2/Add.34

Estonia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.58

El Salvador

X




European Communities

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Fiji

X




Finland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

France

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Gabon







Gambia







Georgia

X




Germany

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Ghana

X




Greece

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Grenada






Guatemala







Guinea, Rep. of







Guinea Bissau







Guyana







Haiti







Honduras

X

G/TBT/2/Add.50

Hong Kong, China

X

G/TBT/2/Add.1

Hungary

X

G/TBT/2/Add.41

Iceland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.55

India

X

G/TBT/2/Add.56

Indonesia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.3

Ireland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Israel

X




Italy

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Jamaica

X

G/TBT/2/Add.57

Japan

X

G/TBT/2/Add.10

Jordan

X

G/TBT/2/Add.61

Kenya

X




Korea

X

G/TBT/2/Add.28

Kuwait







Kyrgyz Republic

X

G/TBT/2/Add.59

Latvia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.52

Lesotho







Liechtenstein

X

G/TBT/2/Add.36

Luxembourg

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Macau

X

G/TBT/2/Add.30

Madagascar







Malawi

X




Malaysia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.9

Maldives







Mali

X




Malta

X




Mauritania







Mauritius

X

G/TBT/2/Add.40

Mexico

X

G/TBT/2/Add.14

Mongolia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.44

Morocco

X

G/TBT/2/Add.39

Mozambique

X




Myanmar

X




Namibia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.42

Netherlands

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

New Zealand

X

G/TBT/2/Add.24

Nicaragua

X




Niger

X




Nigeria

X

G/TBT/2/Add.20



Norway

X

G/TBT/2/Add.15/Rev.1

Oman







Pakistan

X

G/TBT/2/Add.45

Panama

X

G/TBT/2/Add.53 + Corr.1

Papua New Guinea

X




Paraguay







Peru

X

G/TBT/2/Add.29

Philippines

X

G/TBT/2/Add.11

Poland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.31/Rev.1

Portugal

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Qatar







Romania

X

G/TBT/2/Add.17 and Corr.1

Rwanda







Saint Kitts and Nevis







Saint Lucia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.37

Saint Vincent & Gren.







Senegal







Sierra Leone







Singapore

X

G/TBT/2/Add.25

Slovak Republic

X

G/TBT/2/Add.4

Slovenia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.5 and Suppl.1

Solomon Islands







South Africa

X

G/TBT/2/Add.60

Spain

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Sri Lanka

X

G/TBT/2/Add.27

Suriname







Swaziland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.35

Sweden

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

Switzerland

X

G/TBT/2/Add.7

Tanzania

X




Thailand

X

G/TBT/2/Add.38

Togo







Trinidad and Tobago

X

G/TBT/2/Add.47

Tunisia

X

G/TBT/2/Add.22

Turkey

X

G/TBT/2/Add.33

Uganda

X

G/TBT/2/Add.23

United Arab Emirates

X




United Kingdom

X

G/TBT/2/Add.12/Rev.1

United States

X

G/TBT/2/Add.2

Uruguay

X

G/TBT/2/Add.54

Venezuela







Zambia

X




Zimbabwe

X

G/TBT/2/Add.49

TOTAL MEMBERS = 139

103

77

ANNEX 3
DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON PROCEDURES FOR

NOTIFICATION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE

I. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES

1. Format and Guidelines


Background and purpose
The procedures for notification under the Agreement have been kept under constant review by the Committee. In order to ensure a uniform and efficient operation of these procedures the Committee agreed on the following format and guidelines.
Recommendation
(a) Information contained in the notification form should be as complete as possible and no section should be left blank. Where necessary, "not known" or "not stated" should be indicated.
(b) Notifications may be transmitted by electronic mail to the WTO Central Registry of Notifications (CRN): crn@wto.org
Decisions Relating to the Information to be Provided in the Notifications Format
Note: The numbers below correspond to the relevant boxes of the notification form (G/TBT/Notif.)


Item

Description

1. Member to Agreement notifying

Government, including the competent

authorities of the European Communities, which has acceded to the Agreement and which is making the notification;

if applicable, name of local government involved Articles 3.2 and 7.2).


2. Agency responsible

Body elaborating a proposal for or promulgating a technical regulation or procedures for assessment of conformity. The authority or agency designated to handle comments regarding the specific notification shall be indicated if different from above.

3. Notified under

Relevant provision of the Agreement:

Article 2.9.2: proposed technical regulation by central government body,

Article 2.10.1: technical regulation adopted for urgent problems by central government body,

Article 3.2: proposed technical regulation or technical regulation adopted for urgent problems by local government (on the level directly below that of the central government),

Article 5.6.2: proposed procedures for assessment of conformity by central government body,

Article 5.7.1: conformity assessment procedure adopted for urgent problems by central government body,






Article 7.2: proposed procedure for assessment of conformity or conformity assessment procedure adopted for urgent problems by local government (on the level directly below that of the central government),

Other Articles under which notification can arise in cases of urgency set out in those Articles are: Article 8.1: adopted procedures for assessment of conformity by non-governmental body,

Article 9.2: adopted procedures for assessment of conformity by international or regional organization.


4. Products covered

HS or CCCN (chapter or heading and

number) where applicable. National tariff heading if different from HS or CCCN. ICS numbers may be provided in addition, where applicable. A clear description is important for an understanding of the notification by delegations and translators. Abbreviations should be avoided.



5. Title and number of pages

Title of the proposed or adopted technical regulation or procedure for the assessment of conformity that is notified. Number of pages in the notified document. The language(s) in which notified documents are available. If a translation of the document is planned, this should be indicated. If a translated summary is available, this too should be indicated.

6. Description of content

An abstract of the proposed or adopted technical regulation or procedures for assessment of conformity clearly indicating its content. A clear comprehensible description stating the main features of the proposed or adopted technical regulation or procedures for assessment of conformity is important for an understanding of the notification by delegations and translators. Abbreviations should be avoided.

7. Objective and rationale, including the nature of urgent problems where applicable

For instance: health, safety, national security, ... etc.

8. Relevant documents

(1) Publication where notice appears, including date and reference number; (2) Proposal and basic document (with specific reference number or other identification) to which proposal refers;

(3) Publication in which proposal will appear when adopted;

(4) Whenever practicable, give reference to relevant international standard.

If it is necessary to charge for documents supplied, this fact should be indicated.



9. Proposed dates of adoption and entry into force

The date when the technical regulation or procedures for assessment of conformity is expected to be adopted, and the date from which the requirements in the technical regulation or procedures for assessment of conformity are proposed or decided to enter into force, taking into consideration the provisions of Article 2.12.

10. Final date for comments

The date by which Members may submit comments in accordance with Articles 2.9.4, 2.10.3, 3.1 (in relation to 2.9.4 and 2.10.3), 5.6.4, 5.7.3 and 7.1 (in relation to 5.6.4 and 5.7.3) of the Agreement. A specific date should be indicated. 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.

11. Texts available from

If available from national enquiry point, put a cross in the box provided. If available from another body, give its address, e-mail, telex and telefax number. If available in a web-site, provide the web-site address. Such indications should not in any way discharge the relevant enquiry point of its responsibilities under the provisions of Article 10 of the Agreement.



World Trade

Organization







G/TBT/Notif.





(00-0000)







Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade






NOTIFICATION
The following notification is being circulated in accordance with Article 10.6.


1.


Member to Agreement notifying:      

If applicable, name of local government involved (Articles 3.2 and 7.2):      



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:      

3.


Notified under Article 2.9.2 [   ], 2.10.1 [   ], 5.6.2 [   ], 5.7.1 [  ], other:      

4.



Products covered (HS or CCCN where applicable, otherwise national tariff heading.

ICS numbers may be provided in addition, where applicable):      




5.


Title, number of pages and language(s) of the notified document:      

6.


Description of content:      

7.


Objective and rationale, including the nature of urgent problems where applicable:      

8.


Relevant documents:      

9.


Proposed date of adoption:

Proposed date of entry into force:






     

10.


Final date for comments:      

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:      :


2. Length of time allowed for comments


Background
The Committee set the following time limits for presentation of comments on notified technical regulations and procedures for assessment of conformity.
Recommendation
The normal time limit for comments on notifications should be 60 days. Any Member which is able to provide a time limit beyond 60 days, such as 90 days is encouraged to do so, and should indicate this in the notification.

3. Monthly Listing of Notifications Issued


Background and purpose
With a view to provide a brief indication of the notifications issued, the Committee agreed on the following procedure.
Decision
The Secretariat is requested to prepare a monthly table of notifications issued, indicating the notification numbers, notifying Members, Articles notified under, products covered, objectives and final dates for comments.

4. Enhancement of Electronic Transmission of Information


Background and purpose
Enhancement of internet usage can facilitate access to and exchange of information by Members. This would also facilitate and provide the maximum time possible for receiving notifications, obtaining and translating of relevant documents, and the presentation of comments. With a view to facilitate the access to information by Members, as well as to strengthen the notification process, including the time needed for the publication and circulation of notification by the Secretariat, the Committee agreed on the following action.

Decision
Whenever possible Members should file notifications by downloading, filling out and returning the complete form by e-mail to the Secretariat. The Committee will continue to explore ways to shorten the time for the submission, publication and circulation of notifications, as well as to examine the steps that would be needed to facilitate the electronic transmission of information among Members to complement the hard copy information exchange.

II. PROCEDURES FOR INFORMATION EXCHANGE

1. Regular Meetings


Background and purpose
In order to give Members the opportunity to discuss the activities and problems relating to information exchange and to review periodically how well notification procedures work, the Committee took the following action.
Decision
Regular meetings of persons responsible for information exchange including persons responsible for enquiry points and notifications will be held on a biennial basis. Representatives of interested observers will be invited to participate in such meetings. The meetings will deal only with technical issues, leaving any policy matters for consideration by the Committee itself.
ANNEX 4
DECISION OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRINCIPLES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, GUIDES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

WITH RELATION TO ARTICLES 2, 5 AND

ANNEX 3 OF THE AGREEMENT

1. The following principles and procedures should be observed, when international standards, guides and recommendations (as mentioned under Articles 2, 5 and Annex 3 of the TBT Agreement for the preparation of mandatory technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and voluntary standards) are elaborated, to ensure transparency, openness, impartiality and consensus, effectiveness and relevance, coherence, and to address the concerns of developing countries.


2. The same principles should also be observed when technical work or a part of the international standard development is delegated under agreements or contracts by international standardizing bodies to other relevant organizations, including regional bodies.

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