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The TBT notification procedure: a tool at your service

The notification procedure laid down by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (the TBT Agreement) is a tool for information, prevention and dialogue at your service. Pursuant to the TBT Agreement, WTO Members States are obliged to notify to the WTO secretariat draft national technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures relating to all products.

This procedure is an important source of information as it allows Community enterprises to find out about the conditions of access to markets of third countries, in particular so that they can make preparations to comply with these. It is also an important instrument of dialogue as it allows the various draft technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures of third countries to be examined before these are adopted and, if necessary, to be discussed with the notifying country in order to get the latter to change its mind, particularly when the proposed measure is contrary to the obligations of the TBT Agreement.

How do I access notifications?

A proposed technical regulation or conformity assessment procedure is announced by sending the WTO Secretariat a standard notification form. All the notification forms issued by WTO Members are available to you on the Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point.

Following a notification by a third country, the European Commission asks the notification point of that country to provide it with a copy of the notified draft. In principle, notified drafts are translated into English or French. They are then available to you on the Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point. Drafts notified by the European Communities or by Member States are in principle available in all Community languages.

The Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point can be accessed free of charge, with no further formalities, and is updated daily. It allows you to browse through the legislative initiatives of the WTO Members likely to be of interest to you or likely to have repercussions for your activities. In order to aid your search, notifications are classed in specific categories and sub-categories, depending on their aim and the field of activity concerned.

   Search for notifications in the Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point

What if a project submitted for consultation risks causing problems or creating barriers to my exports?

In this case, do not hesitate to give your opinion or make your grievances known to the Commission. The Commission will take these comments into account when it analyses the notified drafts. The aim is to ensure that the notified drafts are brought into conformity with the principles of the TBT Agreement.

All comments sent by the European Communities and all comments sent by third countries concerning notifications issued by the European Communities will be available on the Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point.

   Contact and useful links

Would you like to be regularly informed of new notifications received in a particular area?

As from today you can use our automatic alert system, by subscribing to one or more notification categories. The Internet site of the EC-TBT enquiry point will automatically notify you via e-mail as soon as a new notification is received in the category/ies you selected.

   Subscribe today !