Prevention of technical barriers to trade
In parallel with the regulatory solutions for an optimal operation of the internal market, the Commission works actively on the prevention of new barriers to trade through the management of the 98/34 notification procedure.
This procedure obliges Member States to notify to the Commission their draft technical regulations related to all products and to Information society services, mainly in the non-harmonised areas. The draft texts and their translations are made available to Member States and the public. Thus, economic operators get acquainted with the rules proposed by the countries in which they market their products. The Commission and the other Member States can react in specific forms if the draft appears incompatible with EU law or if its quality could be improved.
The Commission is also engaged in preventive actions to facilitate trade at international level. The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) concluded in the framework of the World Trade Organization also introduced the TBT notification procedure which requires WTO members to notify their draft technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures and to respect the principles of non-discrimination between national and imported products, proportionality and equivalence. This transparency instrument makes EU businesses aware of the conditions of access to third country markets and allows the EU to comment on other WTO Members' proposals.