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New TBT Committee Guidelines on Conformity Assessment

During its recent meetings from March 13 to 15, the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) adopted new guidelines (G/TBT/54) to support regulators in selecting and designing conformity assessment procedures.

The guidelines’ main goal is to assist regulators in ensuring that conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade while verifying compliance with technical regulations and standards. The guidelines note the value of accreditation in providing confidence in conformity assessment body activities, and how the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) and ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) can support the global acceptance of conformity assessment results.

Additionally, members agreed on guidelines for notifying measures they have implemented to uphold the TBT Agreement. The guidelines will facilitate access to information on government agencies involved in standards and regulations.

In line with a ministerial declaration adopted at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), members noted the importance of dialogue and cooperation on standards and regulations in addressing emerging challenges such as climate change, human health, and the digital economy.

Read more about the meeting here.