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OECD Workshop and Policy Dialogue on Technical Barriers to Trade


Promoting good practices in support of open markets

5-6 October 2009

Organisation of this conference has benefited from special financial support provided by the governments of the Netherlands and Switzerland and the Standards Council of Canada Advisory Committee on Developing Countries.

Technical standards, regulations and conformity assessment procedures contribute to efficient markets and serve legitimate public policy goals, but can also have an important, and sometimes detrimental, influence on market access and export opportunities for businesses.

This one-and-a-half day Workshop and Policy Dialogue on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) at the OECD headquarters will provide an opportunity to share knowledge of, and experience with policy approaches and specific tools available to deal with TBT-related market access problems and to facilitate trade. The event is a follow up to a 2005 TBT Workshop conducted in Berlin on Standards and Conformity Assessment in Trade: Minimising Barriers and Maximising Benefits

The Workshop will provide a platform for policymakers, experts and practitioners from developing and developed countries to share their experiences and exchange views on effective TBT policy orientations from an open market perspective. This is a timely exercise, given that trade opportunities will be an essential pillar of the recovery of a global economy currently mired in crisis.

The conference seeks to strengthen the factual basis of analytical work while offering a forum for frank dialogue about opportunities for, and obstacles to, the use of TBT that are least trade restrictive. Issues of regulatory capacity and infrastructure, both of particular interest to developing countries, will also be addressed.

Presentations and discussion will take stock of how widely various approaches such as harmonisation, SDOC, MRAs and MLAs are used in today’s conformity assessment field, and will examine empirical evidence of the effectiveness of these approaches. Another objective is to gauge new developments and challenges facing standardisation across regulated and non-regulated areas. The focus here will be on two topics: the role that standards can play in advancing the climate change policy agenda, and the growth of private standards and their consequences for international trade. A third practical objective of the Workshop is to supply information on how specific elements of good regulatory practice can effectively be implemented.

Given the increasing frequency with which regional trade agreements are signed, the Workshop will follow up on the discussion of this topic in Berlin in 2005 and provide a channel for identifying concrete achievements and lessons learned from commitments and activities at this level, as they pertain to TBT.




Final Workshop Proceedings new
(PDF, 605 KB)

Workshop Summary Report 


List of Participants 




 Monday 5 October 2009


The WTO TBT Agreement and NTMs  keynote address by Ami Levin, Chair of the WTO TBT Committee


 Session I: Tools for creating leaner yet effective conformity assessment systems

Plenary session

Conformity assessment in EU technical harmonisation legislation by Fabrizio Sacchetti, European Commission

International trade and conformity assessment: Successes and difficulties  by Mario O. Wittner, IRAM


Break-out Group 1: Tested/certified once, accepted everywhere: Assessing progress and effects of arrangements promoting the international recognition of conformity assessment bodies

Tested/certified once, accepted everywhere  by Merih Malmqvist Nilsson, SWEDAC

Björn Schildberg, BMZ Germany


Break-out Group 2: Strengthening compliance in the TBT field through cross-border collaboration

Examples from the U.S. experience  by Julia Doherty, Office of the USTR

Cross-border cooperation in product safety  by Dirk Meijer, ICPHSO


 Session II: The place of standardisation on the emerging global climate change and green growth policy agenda

Plenary session

Presentation by Paul Waide, Navigant Consulting Inc.

Presentation  by Fernando Goulart, INMETRO


Break-out Group 1: Controlling CO2  emissions of automobiles 

Presentation by Anup P. Bandivadekar, ICCT

Presentation by Atanu Ganguli, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers

The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) – Increasing vehicles safety and environmental performance and Summary note by Juan Ramos-Garcia, UNECE Transport Division


Break-out Group 2: Private standards and trade: The case of environmental claims and certification schemes

Sustainability at Henkel: Our experience with supply chain standards and carbon footprinting by Uwe Bergmann, Henkel

CO2 labelling: E. Leclerc’s experiment involving the whole range of foodstuffs carried, by   Catherine Gomy, Director, E. Leclerc; French version

Experience and current development: Thailand by Charuek Hengrasmee, Electrical and Electronics Institute, Thailand


Tuesday 6 October 2009 


 Session III. Best practices that promote effective and trade-friendly TBT regimes


1st Panel discussionImplementing good regulatory practice (GRP): How does one go about to identify and reform redundant or ineffective technical regulations?


Presentation by Bastian Kern, BWWI Germany

Measuring and evaluating the performance of regulatory frameworks, by Callie Stewart, DEFAIT

Presentation  by Elsabe Steyn, Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa


2nd Panel discussion, followed by open-floor discussion  Are regional trade agreements breaking down TBT?

Customs unions and TBT: The Turkish case – transposition and implementation of EU technical legislation in Turkey and its effects on trade  by Mehmet Comert, Prime Ministry Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade, Turkey

TBT provisions in Japan’s RTAs: Some prospects for greater convergence of TBT policies  and Summary paper by Yoshiko Naiki, Osaka University

Presentation  and Note by Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues, ABBS

Harmonization of standards in the EAC region  by Evah Oduor, KEBS


Background papers

The following background documents will not be presented or explicitly discussed at the Workshop but may serve as useful background to discussion. They include work published by OECD as well as papers commissioned from experts in the field and whose views do not necessarily reflect the views of the OECD or of its Member countries.






Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements and Technical Barriers to Trade: An African Perspective by Nico Meyer, Támas Fényes, Ernst Idsardi and Martin Breitenbach, Pretoria, South Africa, March 2009


Technical Barriers to Trade: Evaluating the Trade Effects of Supplier's Declaration of Conformity (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 78, October 2008)


Do bilateral and regional approaches for reducing technical barriers to trade converge towards the multilateral trading system? (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 58, November 2007)







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