Research Handbook on the WTO and Technical Barriers to Trade

Research Handbook on the WTO and Technical Barriers to Trade

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Tracey Epps and Michael J. Trebilcock

A relatively new frontier for legal and policy analysis, technical barriers to trade (TBT’s) have become more common as traditional border barriers have been reduced. This comprehensive Handbook comprises original essays by eminent trade scholars exploring the implications of the WTO’s TBT Agreement.

Chapter 3: Conformity assessment procedures

Arthur E. Appleton

Subjects: law - academic, international economic law, trade law


How do we know that a product meets a particular technical regulation or standard? The obvious answer is through testing – either the manufacturer tests the product, or the buyer or a third party performs tests. This is conformity assessment in its simplest form. Most would agree that testing has useful purposes – for example consumer or environmental protection. How though can we be sure that conformity assessment procedures do not become unnecessary barriers to trade? This is a more difficult question. Let us assume that we are dealing with the import of toy dolls.

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