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Promoting Accreditation at the WTO Public Forum

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has accepted a proposal from ISO, IEC, ILAC and IAF to host a joint session at the WTO’s Annual Public Forum to promote the role that standards and accreditation play in trade facilitation.  

Standards and accreditation are referenced in the WTO TBT Agreement and play an important role in trade facilitation. However, according to “Improving Regulatory Governance: International Standards and the WTO TBT Agreement”, (Issue 5 – October 2013) by Erik Wijkström and Devin McDaniels, 30% of trade concerns related to ISO, 12% to the IEC, and 10% to ILAC. The appropriate application of standards and accredited conformity assessment therefore has the potential to resolve these concerns to the benefit of both industrialised and developing economies. 

A common core principle of ISO, IEC, IAF and ILAC is to facilitate trade through the removal of technical barriers to trade, and so the session will therefore be closely aligned to the umbrella theme ‘Why Trade matters to everyone’ of the 2014 Public Forum. The session will take place on 1st October at 1700. Further information on the Public Forum can be read here.