TBT measures include product-related technical regulations and standards, as well as procedures to assess compliance with the requirements set out in these regulations and standards. While conformity with standards is voluntary, technical regulations are mandatory.
TBT measures are used by a country for safety reasons, to protect the environment, to enhance national security, or to provide information to consumers, among other reasons.
TBT measures can take the following forms:
Some examples of TBT measures include packaging or labelling requirements, such as health warnings on tobacco products; regulations on product characteristics, such as energy performance requirements for electrical appliances; or conformity assessment procedures, such as testing procedures for motor vehicle safety requirements.
For more information on what constitutes a TBT, see the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) information on Technical regulations and standards.
For a complete list of different types of TBT measures, see the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) International Classification of Non-Tariff Measures (chapter B).
Exporters, or sellers, are responsible for complying with TBT measures applied in the target country and for providing all necessary documents. Trade agencies, industry associations, and chambers of commerce may offer newsletters, events, and online platforms for businesses to learn about TBT measures applicable to their products.
To stay informed on new or updated TBT requirements, businesses can register on ePing, an online tool, developed by the United Nations, the WTO, and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Via the ePing email alert service, businesses receive timely notifications of changes in TBT requirements on their products in targeted markets. ePing also contains a database of all measures notified by governments.
Businesses and governments can collaborate to address questions and potential trade issues related to notified TBT requirements using the national forums included in the tool. For any questions on technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and standards in an export market, businesses can contact the TBT enquiry point in that market. A list of all TBT enquiry points can be accessed here: https://epingalert.org/en/EnquiryPoint/tbt-nep