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A mapping of regional rules on technical
barriers to trade
roberta piermartini and
michele budetta*
1

Introduction

The progressive elimination of tariff barriers has shifted the attention to
other forms of barriers to trade. In particular, the recent debate on
market access issues highlighted technical barriers to trade (TBTs).
These consist of standards, technical regulations and conformity
assessment procedures. Standards and technical regulations specify the
technical characteristics of a product or the conditions under which it is
made. Product standards define the requirements of the characteristics
of products (such as the level of safety of an electronic device), while
production standards are the conditions under which a product must be
made (such as the requirement of limited gas emissions). Conformity
assessment procedures define the testing procedures necessary to assess
the conformity of products to the norms.1
*

1

For enquiries about the paper, please contact Roberta Piermartini, Economic Research
and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, 154 Rue de Lausanne, CH-1211
Geneva, Switzerland, roberta.piermartini@wto.org. The authors would like to thank
Richard Baldwin, Stefania Bernabe´, Jo-Ann Crawford, Seema Dargar, Philippa Dee,
Simon Evenett, Robert Teh and John Wilson for their comments on previous drafts of
this paper. Any remaining errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Annex 1, defines a standard as a
‘document approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use,
rules, guidelines or characteristics for products or related processes and production
methods, with which compliance is not mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they
apply to a product, process or production method.’ The major difference between
standards and technical regulations, according to the WTO definition, is that compliance
with a technical regulation is mandatory. A conformity assessment procedure is ‘any
procedure used, directly or indirectly, to determine that relevant requirements in technical regulations or standards are fulfilled’. The TBT Agreement does not deal with
production standards.

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Standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures are not openly discriminatory against imports. The same standard
may apply to domestically produced and imported goods. Yet they can
act as a disguised form of protection. National standards may impose
disproportionate costs on foreign producers. They may generate fixed
costs from having to interpret the regulation and bring the product into
conformity and might also raise marginal cost if the standard results in a
decreased scale of operation. Similarly, conformity assessment procedures can also constitute a barrier to trade. Often exporters are requested
to test and certify their products in each of the countries to which they
export. These tests and certifications are costly, and duplication of tests
exponentially increases costs. Overall costs of conformity assessment
also include the risk that goods are rejected by the importing country
after shipment so that they have to be transported back, as well as a cost
in terms of time required for complying with administrative requirements and inspections by the importing country’s authorities. All these
costs may be higher for foreign firms. To the extent that standards,
technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures increase
costs for foreign companies relatively more than for domestic firms,
they act as a protectionist measure; that is, they reduce the ability of a
producer to enter a foreign market.
It is clear that governments and industries may even define technical
regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures with the
strategic aim of creating a disadvantage for foreign competitors. An
illustrative example is the US requirement of a larger minimum size on
vine-ripened tomatoes (mainly imported from Mexico) than on green
tomatoes (mainly grown in Florida). Another example is the Chilean
system for grading meat quality which is incompatible with that used in
Argentina and the US (big meat exporters). The cost of setting up a
special system just to export to Chile effectively limits the market access
of small Argentinean and American beef producers.
An important difference between technical barriers to trade and
conventional barriers – quotas, tariffs, voluntary export restraints
(VERs) – is that, although they may inhibit trade, technical regulations
and conformity assessment procedures in general are not introduced for
the purpose of trade protection. The primary role of governmentimposed standards (or technical regulations) is to enhance welfare by
remedying market failures arising from an asymmetry of information
between consumers and producers about the quality of a product,
negative environmental externalities or failure of producers to

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roberta piermartini and michele budetta

co-operate and produce compatible products because of network
externalities. Technical regulations may be set, for example, to protect
public health and safety as well as animal and plant life. Alternatively,
firms can voluntarily set standards for efficiency reasons. They can set
compatibility standards in order to be able to mix and match alternative
inputs, thus reducing inventory costs and increasing production flexibility. Firms can also set standards in order to make it possible for them
to exploit economies of scale or they can set standards to signal to
consumers the quality of their products. In all of the above cases,
standards fulfil a legitimate objective and are aimed to help markets
operate more efficiently. Conformity assessment is needed to evaluate a
product, a process or a service against specified requirements.
Agreements between countries on technical barriers to trade are
challenging because they have to strike a balance between the legitimate
right of a country to use standards to remedy market failures and set
appropriate procedures to assess conformity to these standards, and the
realization of gains from integrated markets. On the one hand, since
countries differ in terms of levels of development, technology, environmental requirements and preferences, it is natural that the optimal
national standard (that is, the specific type of standard that solves a
market failure) differs across countries. On the other hand, these differences may constitute an obstacle to trade.
There are circumstances in which the solution to this trade-off is
relatively simple. Suppose, for example, that two similar countries have
the same policy objective of ensuring a certain level of car safety, but
that for some reason they have chosen different standard specifications.
One country requires the car to be equipped with seat-belts and a fire
extinguisher. The other country requires the presence of airbags and
fireproof materials. Without an agreement between the two countries,
car manufacturers that want to export will have to face higher costs in
order to adapt their production to the requirements of each destination
country or produce cars that simultaneously satisfy both standards
(again, probably at a higher cost than using only one standard). Since
the desired level of safety is equally ensured by the two types of standard
specifications, both countries would be better off if they chose a common standard or accept each other’s standard. The policy option in
which each country chooses one common standard is known as ‘harmonization’, while the policy whereby a country grants unrestricted
access to products that meet the standard of another country and vice
versa is known as ‘mutual recognition’ of standards.

The GATS contains standards-related provisions on services. But it requires that these measures be as least disruptive as possible for trade. The TBT Agreement also encourages countries to accept as equivalent the technical regulations of other Members if these regulations adequately fulfil the objectives of their own domestic regulations (TBT Agreement. that is any measure that is applied to protect human or animal or plant life or health. What can countries do in these cases to ensure that differences in standards. The SPS Agreement applies to sanitary and phytosanitary measures.7). To this end. neither harmonization nor mutual recognition is likely to be a viable solution as they may undermine national policy objectives. the TBT Agreement recognizes that countries may have different policy objectives. the TBT Agreement recognizes that one way to remove technical barriers to trade is harmonization. with the view of harmonizing technical standards. with regard to conformity assessment procedures. the TBT Agreement recognizes that one way to avoid duplicative tests and to 2 Other agreements containing standards-related provisions are the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). or health or the environment.2 The TBT Agreement recognizes the right of each country to take measures necessary to pursue national security. the TBT Agreement establishes a set of commitments among WTO Members that may be summarized as follows.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 253 There are other circumstances in which countries’ policy objectives are significantly different. paras. to prevent deceptive practices or to protect human health or safety. specifically in Article VI. In addition. Article 2. animal or plant life. In these cases. The agreement in the WTO that deals with technical barriers to trade in goods is the TBT Agreement. 4 and 5. it allows for exceptions when these international standards would be ineffective or inappropriate to fulfil their objectives. for instance ‘because of fundamental climatic or geographical factors or fundamental technological problems’ (TBT Agreement. Therefore. First.4). it prescribes that WTO Members use existing international standards as a basis for their technical regulations. technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures do not constitute an unnecessary obstacle to trade? The WTO Agreement on technical barriers to trade and various regional trade agreements try to provide an answer to this question. Therefore. Secondly. At the same time. Article 2. . it states that Members shall play a full part in the preparation of international standards by international standardization bodies.

Indeed. in the attempt to create a level playing field in the area of technical barriers to trade and avoid the result that some countries. But MRAs for testing and certification procedures require confidence in the competence of each other’s conformity assessment bodies and in the methods employed to assess conformity. transparency reduces the costs associated with having to learn about the regulations of other countries and makes it more difficult for countries to introduce a discriminatory regulation. Fourthly. Thirdly. Finally. the TBT Agreement establishes that countries shall provide technical assistance to other WTO Members (Article 11). the TBT Agreement explicitly refers to the Dispute Settlement Body for consultations on TBT matters and resolutions of disputes (Article 14). Therefore. the TBT Agreement requires that. the TBT Agreement acknowledges the importance of transparency of technical regulations for trade liberalization. to the extent that RTAs are signed among ‘similar’ countries or countries that trust each 3 For a comprehensive overview on the economics of standards and WTO-related rules see WTO (2005). Members publish and notify the WTO Secretariat (Article 2. Many regional trade agreements (RTAs) also include norms for technical barriers to trade. In addition. It is clear that.3 WTO rules are not the only international norms governing standardsrelated measures. the TBT Agreement establishes the Committee on TBT (Article 13) to deal with the administration of the Agreement. For this reason. before the adoption of a new technical regulation. especially developing countries. the TBT Agreement (Article 6) encourages Members to enter into mutual recognition agreements (MRAs). Therefore. .254 roberta piermartini and michele budetta reduce trade costs is through conformity assessment recognition agreements. the TBT Agreement recognizes that prior consultations may be necessary to arrive at a mutually satisfactory understanding regarding the competences of conformity assessment bodies. These imply that a country recognizes the tests and certifications of another country independently of whether their standards are harmonized or are mutually recognized. are excluded from the trade business because of lack of capability for setting standards and assessing conformity. in order to resolve concerns between countries on TBT matters.9) and that an enquiry point exist in each country to satisfy reasonable enquiries and provide documents (Article 10).

One illustrative example is that of the European Union. the principle of mutual recognition applies: that is. This paper fills this gap. The process of harmonization of standards and regulations takes place in national and European standardization bodies mutually co-operating in drafting and including amendments to the text. they could provide rules that ensure that standards and technical regulations are even less disruptive for trade within the region than the rules established at the WTO. according to which ‘any product lawfully produced and marketed in one Member State must. the approach chosen for liberalizing technical barriers to trade varies across RTAs. if products are produced in accordance with one country’s regulations. The paper aims to enhance the understanding of preferential rules and their implications for the global trading system.4 In addition. . in principle. The EU also recognizes the importance of removing technical barriers to trade in order to achieve a single market.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 255 other. the EU has adopted the principle of mutual recognition of both product standards and conformity assessments and actively pursues harmonization of product standards. be admitted to the market of any other Member State’. For example. they are granted access to any other member country. Although most RTAs encourage or mandate their members to coordinate their standards-related measures. EU countries mutually recognize each other’s conformity assessments. there is no comprehensive collection of information concerning regional rules on technical barriers. Mutual recognition of conformity assessment is not only limited to accepting conformity assessment results from bodies that are recognized by the parties concerned. It followed the ruling of the European Court of Justice in the Cassis de Dijon case. but commitments to remove technical barriers to trade among EU countries go beyond WTO rules. In particular. This is done by mapping various provisions on technical barriers to trade in RTAs into a template and evaluating empirically whether there is any emerging pattern as to the way RTAs address the issue of removing technical barriers to trade. the analysis in the paper focuses on three questions: (1) To what extent do regional commitments in the area of TBTs go beyond WTO rules? (2) Are there families of RTAs characterized by common features? (3) What are the factors determining the policy option chosen 4 The principle of mutual recognition was introduced formally in 1985. Where technical standards are not harmonized. but extends to selfcertification arrangements such as suppliers’ declarations of conformity. To our knowledge.

For this. Both geographical and income-related factors (the level of development and the similarity in income levels among members of RTAs) are considered. The overview is provided by provision and by RTA. Section 5 looks at a number of explanations of why we observe the inclusion of specific provisions in preferential trade agreements. But. in this section we attempt to assess whether there are families of RTAs that share common characteristics.5 Then. Section 4 provides descriptive statistics about the different approaches used across RTAs to remove TBTs as they emerge from the template.256 roberta piermartini and michele budetta to remove technical barriers to trade in a regional agreement? For example. 2 Policy options to remove technical barriers to trade The primary purpose of the mapping of regional rules on technical barriers to trade is to gain insights into the legal framework in which global trade takes place on TBT matters. an attempt is made to single out the factors that determine which specific provisions are included in an RTA using probit analysis. 5 As with any other form of liberalization at the regional level. it reviews the empirical evidence on their impact on trade. This section explores the various policy options to remove TBTs and describes their likely effect on intraregional trade and trade costs. In this section. Section 2 provides a review of the theoretical and empirical literature on the impact of standards on trade. Section 6 concludes. one needs to understand what policy options might be more effective in liberalizing trade. In addition. it is hoped that one could get an understanding of the extent of liberalization that countries have achieved on TBT matters through regional integration. . see Chapter 2 above. Section 3 describes the RTAs surveyed in this paper and the methodology used to map the information contained in the text of RTAs into a template. can similarity in the level of income explain the existence of some provisions? The paper is divided into four parts. the removal of TBTs may have detrimental effects on trade with countries outside the preferential area. apart from an overview of the range of policy options that have been adopted by the various regional trade agreements to remove technical barriers to trade. For a discussion on trade-diverting effects of RTAs and the issue of RTAs as stumbling blocs or building blocs for multilateral liberalization.

These include: recognition or harmonization of product standards. they might also increase the marginal cost of production if the standard results in a decreased scale of operation. So. Equivalence implies that a country recognizes that the exporting country’s product standard.1 257 Taxonomy Different standards. country-specific emissions and safety standards can prevent consumers from importing cheaper cars produced abroad. increased transparency and recognition of conformity assessments.1 Equivalence and mutual recognition of standards and technical regulations Recognition of product standards can be unilateral (equivalence) or reciprocal (mutual recognition). they may generate fixed costs of exporting from having to interpret the regulation and bring the product into conformity. Equivalence and mutual recognition are commonly considered as a step towards freer trade because they allow firms to pick any one standard and to sell it in the whole regional market. In the automobile industry. national standards may reduce the scope for international arbitrage. Policy-makers have various ways in which they can tackle technical barriers to trade. although characterized by a different technical specification. may hinder trade through various channels: First. unless consumer preferences are biased toward their domestic specification. for example. Secondly. a firm located in the region can freely access the whole regional market without additional costs to comply with a specific standard. previous country-specific standards may no longer be optimal because they entail a cost in terms of foregone trade. there is a risk associated with equivalence and mutual recognition – that of a race to the bottom.g. When countries with different optimal standards trade and recognize as equivalent each other’s standards. although optimal from a national point of view to pursue a national objective. the same level of health protection) as is achieved by the importing country’s technical requirements. . and it can therefore enter the domestic market.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 2. In addition. Mutual recognition implies that countries agree to mutually recognize each other’s standards as equivalent. When a country opens up to trade. 2. Yet.1. is effective in pursuing the same objective (e. thus granting products that meet any of the two countries’ standards unrestricted access to their markets.

harmonization of product standards is commonly believed to be a step towards freer trade. An example of this type of harmonization is the EU ‘old approach’. thus compromizing quality or safety and triggering a race to the bottom. This. may facilitate trade by improving consumers’ confidence in the importing country about the quality of the imported good.1. In these circumstances. products produced in different countries are more similar (more homogeneous) and therefore better substitutes from the point of view of producers and consumers. The advantage of harmonization relative to mutual recognition in terms of its effects on trade is that. harmonization of product standards may also have a negative effect on trade. countries may require a certain degree of harmonization of product standards as a precondition to allow entry into their markets.2 Harmonization There are circumstances in which differences in standards are too large and mutual recognition is neither desirable nor viable. Full harmonization requires that countries define on a product-by-product basis a common standard. Like mutual recognition of product standards. This would make it easier for consumers to match components. there are two important differences between the effects of full harmonization and harmonization . Harmonization of minimal standards consists of defining common essential requirements among countries that liberalize their trade. policy-makers may opt for the harmonization of (minimum) standards as a way to remove TBTs. With regard to this. To avoid the risk of a race to the bottom. including the design of detailed characteristics of the product. Harmonization can be full or limited to essential requirements. 2. reduce prices and increase trade. with harmonization. in turn. The ‘new approach’ of the European Community is an example of this type of harmonization. harmonization will enhance compatibility between imported and domestically produced goods.258 roberta piermartini and michele budetta there might be an incentive for countries (firms) to set lower standards to provide national firms with a competitive advantage relative to foreign firms.1). Also. while leaving each country (or firm) free to design the specific characteristics of the product in the way they most like. would increase competition. However. This approach entails long and tedious negotiations among countries about the specific contents of a product standard (see Box 5.

some twenty-five directives based on the principles of the new approach and the global approach have come into force. Since 1987. harmonizing all specific characteristics of products proved difficult. Products manufactured in one country should in principle move freely throughout the EU.7 6 7 See http://ec. In order to remove these types of barriers. it includes rules on labelling. The new scheme. Since 1993. . a new integrated approach has been implemented. if products are produced and tested in accordance with one country’s regulations. This approach is a combination of harmonization and mutual recognition of standards. the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation or CENELEC. provides general guidelines and detailed procedures for conformity assessment that are to be used in new approach directives.europa. The application of these harmonized technical specifications remains voluntary.europa. as the producer remains free to adopt its own technical specifications to meet the (mandatory) essential requirements. the so-called ‘old approach’ required that technical regulations be harmonized by means of detailed directives. such directives replace national standards. Once adopted.6 When standards are not harmonized. The process of specification of these essential requirements in technical standards is left to European standardization bodies (the Committee for Standardisation or CEN. the legislative harmonization is limited to essential safety and health requirements. The advantage of using harmonized European standards is that they benefit from a presumption of conformity. In addition.html. consumer protection and environmental protection. safety. technical regulation and conformity assessment. National technical regulations are subject to Articles 28 and 30 of the Treaty. the principle of mutual recognition of standards applies – that is. For detailed information on the European standardization policy. known as the ‘global approach’.eu/enterprise/newapproach/standardization/harmstds/reflist. see http://ec. According to the ‘new approach’.htm.1 the eu approach to remove tbts The EU has developed probably the most advanced system to reduce the traderestrictive impact of technical regulations. and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute or ETSI). the content of which is determined by negotiations among EU countries. eu/enterprise/standards_policy/index_en.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 259 box 5. However. they are granted access to any other member country (the key elements for mutual recognition are provided by the Cassis de Dijon case law of the European Court of Justice). The Council Resolution of 1985 on the ‘new approach’ to technical barriers to trade laid down the new regulatory approach. Barriers to trade arising from differences across countries can only be accepted if national measures are necessary to satisfy health.

260 roberta piermartini and michele budetta of essential requirements on trade.1. Insofar as demand for foreign goods is driven by love for variety. The theoretical argument is that different national standards may not be detrimental to trade if they provide easy access to information about the preferences of consumers in a country. full harmonization to a specific standard may imply a higher cost of compliance for firms in certain countries than harmonization of essential requirements. . Notification of standards and technical regulations and the setting up of enquiry points for standards may in fact facilitate trade by reducing the searching costs required for acquiring information about the standards adopted in another country. Otsuki and Wilson (2005) based on company survey data covering some hundreds of firms in about twenty-five industries in seventeen developing countries found that fixed costs of compliance are on average 4. Another study by Maskus.3 Transparency There are cases when neither recognition nor harmonization is feasible or desirable.1. the UK. Evidence based on survey data suggest that costs of compliance are not trivial. Such a scenario occurs. A survey by the OECD (1999) on fifty-five firms estimated that the additional costs incurred to meet technical requirements in four export markets – the US. This is a particular concern for developing countries whose level of technology may not be sufficient to meet certain standards. In these cases. countries can still minimize the trade-reducing effect of different standards by increasing the transparency of their national standards and technical regulations. Germany and Japan – ranged between zero and 30 per cent. when countries’ optimal standards are very different. thus effectively erecting a barrier to trade. This 8 9 Systematic evidence on the incidence of compliance costs is scarce. transparency at the stage of preparation of standards may provide an effective mechanism to avoid unintentional protectionist outcomes.8 2.9 In addition. Full harmonization of product standards imposes a higher cost in terms of reduced variety than harmonization of essential requirements. In addition.4 Mutual recognition of conformity assessments Another way to partially remove technical barriers to trade is through the recognition of each other’s tests of conformity assessment.7 per cent of value-added. for example. full harmonization may hamper trade by reducing the degree of product differentiation. 2. See Rauch and Trindade (2002) for an assessment of the importance of information costs for trade.

Mutual recognition of conformity assessment requires a certain degree of trust between countries and confidence in the quality of the methodologies employed in their conformity tests.2 Empirical evidence on the impact of harmonization and mutual recognition Empirical literature on the impact of removing TBTs on trade is limited. harmonization. (1996) and Moenius (2004). mutual recognition of standards and of conformity assessment and enhanced transparency may all represent viable options to help reduce trade costs generated by different national standards. MRAs will help reduce exporting firms’ overall costs of testing and certification of conformity. They will eliminate the need for duplicative tests in each destination market and they will help reduce handling time and uncertainty of delivery. To sum up. when the count of country-specific standards is also introduced in the regression. and they found a positive and significant effect of shared standards on trade. The impact of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) of conformity assessment on the trade of participating countries is clearly positive.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 261 implies that the importing country recognizes the competence of the exporting country’s conformity assessment bodies to test and certify that a product complies with the laws of the country where it is sold. In particular. The theoretical argument is that national standards can facilitate or deter trade depending on whether they . Two relevant studies in this regard are those by Swann et al. Can empirical evidence help us on this? 2. estimates that a 10 per cent increase in the number of shared standards enhances bilateral trade by nearly one-third. But economic theory is unable to tell us which approach is more trade enhancing. Interestingly. But it requires neither recognition nor harmonization of product standards. he finds that importer-specific standards have a negative impact on imports in the non-manufacturing sectors. Both studies use the count of shared international standards as a proxy for the degree of harmonization of standards. but have a positive impact on imports in the manufacturing sector. Moenius. One approach to quantifying the impact of standards on trade has been to test whether country-specific standards and internationally harmonized standards have a different impact on trade. using a gravity model on sectoral bilateral trade volumes (4-digit SITC) for twelve European countries.

A paper by Vancauteren and Weiserbs (2003) provides a somewhat indirect estimate of the impact of harmonization versus mutual recognition on trade by looking at whether those sectors where the EU has sought to remove technical barriers to trade by harmonizing technical regulations or by applying mutual recognition present a lower ‘home bias’10 than the average. In Europe. where products are more differentiated and information about market preferences is. nearly 70 per cent of standards in the electronic equipment and telecommunication sector are harmonized (WTO 2005 pp. Hence. The information effects dominate in manufacturing sectors. consumption of domestically produced goods has been estimated to be larger than trade with other EU partners by a factor of ten (Nitsch 2000). In general.262 roberta piermartini and michele budetta decrease information costs more than they increase adaptation costs of foreign suppliers. therefore. or a combination of these three approaches. defined according to whether the new approach. and whether technical regulations are significant barriers to trade. applies. to the extent that harmonization and mutual recognition of product standards remove trade distortions. However. more valuable. 61–2). 10 The term ‘home bias’ refers to the preference for consuming domestically produced goods rather than imported goods. the count of shared standards is not a good measure of the extent of TBT liberalization because some sectors have a higher propensity to harmonize than others. Using a gravity model for intra-EU bilateral trade for the period 1990–8. Moreover. the number of harmonized standards is higher in sectors where network effects or compatibility requirements are important. such as different technical regulations. The study relies on the hypothesis that the large home bias in Europe is induced by technical barriers to trade. Their results show that the home bias remains substantial both for sectors where standards have been harmonized and for those where mutual recognition holds according to national laws. . Another approach to quantifying the impact of the removal of technical barriers to trade has been to compare the effects of harmonization as opposed to mutual recognition of product standards on trade. they should reduce the home bias. old approach. a significant home bias is also found for products where no significant barriers were deemed to exist. the authors of this study estimate the home bias effect for five groups of sectors. For example. mutual recognition principle.

while it is above 3 for sectors whose standards have been harmonized). any good that circulates in one country of the EU can ‘freely’ circulate in another EU country (the burden of proving that a standard is not equivalent to that of the importing country falls on the importing country). Trade data in ISIC Rev. at a certain point in 11 12 Standard explanatory variables include the GDP values of the trading partners and dummy variables that denote whether countries share a border. This study reflected the situation in 1998. since the establishment of the ‘new approach’ in 1985. and whether one of the trading partners is an island or a landlocked country.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 263 In other words. Therefore. . the study groups sectors on the basis of a sectoral classification set up in a study by Atkins for the Single Market Review in 1998 (European Communities 1998). Secondly. First. Although the smallest home bias is found for those sectors characterized by mutual recognition (the coefficient of the home bias is equal to 2. since mutual recognition holds on all products in their sample period (1990–8). while the study by Vancauteren and Weiserbs used data for the period 1990–8. the analysis does not allow us to say whether this is significantly smaller than for those sectors characterized by harmonization. In their study. by estimating a standard gravity model11 for intra-EU sectoral trade12 over the period 1978–2002. The impact of harmonization on trade is estimated by introducing dummy variables indicating whether. factors other than technical barriers to trade can explain the home bias.2 at four-digit classification from the UN Comtrade database are used for the estimation. Finally. it is understandable why they find it hard to capture the trade-enhancing impact of mutual recognition. A number of reasons can explain the failure of Vancauteren and Weiserbs to find a significant impact of European measures to remove technical barriers to trade on the home bias. a common language or the same currency. the study by Vancauteren and Weiserbs did not find that measures taken to remove technical barriers to trade had a significant impact on the home bias.72 for products where mutual recognition applies. Another recent study (Piermartini 2005) attempts to overcome the limitations of Vancautereen and Weiserbs’ study. there will be sectors that have been harmonized in the later years of the period 1990–8 that will fall within the group of harmonized sectors. while trade flows for most of the period will not reflect conditions of trade under harmonization.

safety and quality) of standards was also made. In this paper. In fact. while it may be too early to draw strong conclusions regarding the relative merits of mutual recognition and harmonization in enhancing trade. In particular. One notable exception is the recent paper by Chen and Mattoo (2008). 3 The methodology used to build the template The basic approach we have adopted to build the template on regional TBT agreements is to rely on the legal text of the agreements. given the limited number of studies and their focus on European countries. However. Moreover. a mutual recognition dummy was introduced. we can probably say that more robust and significant trade enhancing effects are found in the case of mutual recognition. compatibility standards) and vertical harmonization (covering health. for example. especially when it concerned horizontal standards.264 roberta piermartini and michele budetta time. The effectiveness of the rules is likely to depend on the institutional setting and administrative procedures and practice. allowing estimation of the impact of the mutual recognition principle in 1985 for those sectors that have not been harmonized. while they may hurt third countries if the extent of the application of mutual recognition of conformity assessment is limited by rules of origin. This study finds that MRAs of conformity assessment are in general trade-promoting for the countries participating in the agreement. The results regarding the impact of harmonization on trade appeared less robust. we cannot ascertain from the legal text to what extent regional provisions are implemented and bypass WTO rules. To sum up. there appears to be some evidence that regional legal provisions tend to be implemented. they may not be sufficient to understand the degree of stringency these rules imply. we are unable to take these factors into account. The literature looking at the impact of mutual recognition of conformity assessments on trade is even more limited than the literature on standards. the sector was harmonized according to the ‘old approach’ or ‘new approach’. A distinction between horizontal harmonization (including. Mutual recognition of product standards was found to have a positive and significant effect on intra-EU trade. While legal provisions provide important information. there were sixteen country pairs involved in disputes related to provisions of the TBT Agreement in . harmonization according to the ‘old approach’ results in enhanced trade more than the ‘new approach’. Overall.

a mapping of regional rules on tbts 265 2005. The RTAs surveyed cover the full range of geographical areas: America. Similarly. only six were among countries that were members of the same RTA. Asia and Oceania. Over seventy RTAs were surveyed for this study. since one of the aims of this paper is to enhance the understanding of the range of policy options adopted within RTAs to remove TBTs. TBTrelated trade concerns among EEA member countries are extremely rare. level of development and extent of intraregional trade. there were about fifty pairs of countries involved in TBTrelated trade concerns raised at the WTO’s TBT Committee in the same year.14 these figures seem to suggest that there is on average a lower propensity for countries parties to an RTA to open disputes and raise TBT-related concerns at the WTO than the global average for a given amount of trade. Of these. In particular. we have surveyed a relatively large sample of RTAs and we have selected RTAs for regions that were different in terms of geographical characteristics. Interestingly. These disputes are those between Mexico–US (relative to measures affecting trade in live swine) and US–Canada (relative to measures affecting imports of cattle. although the agreement establishes clear procedures to deal with the resolution of disputes at the regional level. Indeed. First. the sector of fisheries is explicitly excluded from the agreement. They include RTAs among countries at different levels of development – RTAs among developed countries. swine and grain from Canada). these cases are perfectly in line with the relevant regional agreement. 3. covering about half of all the RTAs in force notified to the WTO. only two country pairs were parties to the same RTA. See WTO (2003). This represents less than 15 per cent of the total number of TBT-related concerns. Again. Since trade within RTAs is estimated to represent approximately 50 per cent of total trade. 13 14 WTO (2006). . the NAFTA agreement establishes the possibility of referring to both the WTO and the NAFTA dispute settlement mechanism for the resolution of disputes. this case is compatible with the EEA rules.13 Of these. One noticeable exception is the case raised by Norway in 2003 in relation to the EU regulation for sardines. Europe. Indeed.1 The regional trade agreements surveyed Two criteria have been followed to select the RTAs to survey in this study. Africa.

may refer to the ISO/IEC Guide 2 definition. gaining an understanding of the parties’ intended relationship between the WTO and the RTA rules is a priority. and among developing countries. According to this definition. EFTA. technical regulations are mandatory documents. Is there a general reference to the rights and obligations of the TBT Agreement? . it helps in examining the extent to which the removal of technical barriers within regional preferential areas has progressed beyond the WTO rules in terms of the specific language of the agreement. The template is divided into five sections (see Table 5. In addition.266 roberta piermartini and michele budetta between developed and developing countries. A secondary aim of this paper is to establish whether there are families of RTAs that present similar characteristics in terms of TBTrelated provisions. such as US–Bahrain. the US and Mexico. and are based on international consensus. The information we collected concerns the following questions: Are the definitions of standards and technical regulations in RTAs the same as those of the WTO? For the purpose of the TBT Agreement. The advantage of this approach is that it facilitates comparison between provisions in RTAs and those in the TBT Agreement. Therefore. The complete list of RTAs surveyed in this paper as well as information about whether they include a chapter on TBTs or not is reported in Annex 1 below. RTAs are differentiated in terms of the levels of the concentration of trade among members. The share of intra-regional trade across RTAs surveyed varies from 60 per cent among EU countries to less than 1 per cent for some bilateral agreements. For this purpose. while standards are voluntary documents that may or may not be based on consensus. Some RTAs. Therefore. 3. however.2 The structure of the template The template used for the comparative analysis of TBT-related provisions in regional agreements is structured after the TBT Agreement. One may assume that the intention of the specific TBT-related provisions in an RTA is to loosen or tighten the multilateral rules that otherwise would apply.1) containing the following elements: Section I reports whether there are references to the TBT Agreement. standards may be mandatory or not. we have included most RTAs signed by the most active RTA signatories: the EU.

g. give further consideration to whether a Party should accept a particular regulation as equivalent to its own and consider establishing an ad hoc working group.’ This is clearly a much stronger commitment to recognize each other’s standard than in Article 2. a description of the target of the commitment (e. (b) Whether mutual recognition is in force. For example.5) states that. technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures of RTA member countries is ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. These refer in general to the specification of a timeline within which a certain commitment needs to be implemented. such as transparency rules or a dispute settlement mechanism for the resolution of disputes? Section II describes the type of approach – equivalence/mutual recognition or harmonization – to remove TBTs that has been adopted or is being encouraged in RTAs. . ‘where a Party does not accept a technical regulation of the other Party as equivalent to its own. at the request of the other Party. negotiate mutual recognition agreement or harmonize standards. In this case we include information beyond the mere text of the agreement on preferential trade. we have adopted the following approaches for equivalence/mutual recognition and harmonization.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 267 Does the reference to the TBT Agreement cover specific provisions of the Agreement.7 of the TBT Agreement. An essential issue in this regard is whether the commitment to recognize as equivalent. However. To this end. it shall. which states that countries ‘shall give positive consideration to accepting as equivalent’ technical regulations of another country ‘provided that they are satisfied that these regulations adequately fulfil the objectives of their own regulation’. and an explanation of how a certain commitment will be implemented. if they so agree. technical regulation or conformity assessment of a regional partner. the Australia– US FTA (Article 8. explain its reasons. the template contains information on the following key issues: (a) Whether the importing country needs to provide reasons for not accepting a standard as equivalent. This is very difficult to assess on the basis of the legal text of the agreement. legal practice suggests some elements may play an important role in determining whether a law is hard or soft. what is the standard to which countries commit to harmonize). The Parties will. respectively: (1) In the case of a commitment to (mutually) recognize as equivalent the standard.

Members must publish and notify to the WTO Secretariat at an early stage (when amendments can still be introduced) and discuss with other Members their comments upon request whenever a technical regulation is proposed. the template includes information about whether: (a) the agreement defines the standard to which parties shall harmonize.268 roberta piermartini and michele budetta (c) Whether countries commit to negotiate mutual recognition within a certain time. since we structure the template on TBT rules taking the WTO rules and practices as benchmarks. A reasonable time interval between the publication of technical regulations and their entry into force should be allowed. In general. These include provisions related to notification requirements as well as provisions establishing whether the regional agreement requires enquiry points for this purpose or establishes regional consultations for the dissemination of information. In addition. (d) Whether RTA member countries participate in international accreditation agencies. In fact. the . (c) the agreement promotes the use of international standards. the template will not only indicate whether the regional rules on TBTs include notification requirements. Section III of the template focuses on transparency requirements. in the SPS Agreement) with the international standard and if the technical regulation may have a significant effect on their trade. (2) In the case of harmonization. WTO rules require notification before the adoption of a new technical regulation if an international standard does not exist or the content of the proposed regulation is not in accordance (‘substantially the same’. but it will also focus in particular on whether regional rules specify the time period allowed for notification and whether this period is longer than sixty days. The WTO agreements do not set a specific time period. However. all technical regulations which have been adopted should be promptly published or made available. we consider that the policy adopted is harmonization also in all those cases in which the text of the agreement states that parties should ‘bridge the gap’. In particular. ‘reduce divergence’ or ‘make compatible’ their standards. technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures. many agreements between the EU and developing countries encourage developing countries to use EU standards). With regard to notification requirements. (b) the agreement promotes the use of regional standards (for example.

was encouraged to do so. Is the recourse to dispute settlement in the context of TBT-related matters denied? Section V of the template contains information on those provisions that envisage a form of common policy-making in the field of standards beyond trade-related objectives. finally. Members allowed an average of 60. the template includes information about how TBT-related disputes are resolved within RTAs. Acknowledging the importance of these factors. the gap between the law and the practice is likely to depend on the institutional setting and administrative procedures. Technical assistance may cover assistance for the 15 ‘Decisions and Recommendations Adopted by the Committee Since 1 January 1995’.’15 In 2005. it was recommended that any Member able to provide a time limit beyond sixty days. and contains information on specific commitments for technical assistance. Moreover. G/TBT/1/Rev.5 days for comments (see WTO 2006). the template includes information about whether RTAs establish regional committees or bodies or regional consultations for the administration of the agreement. Relying on the WTO rules as a benchmark. the template on regional rules on TBTs contains information on whether the regional agreements include provisions for the dissemination of information.8: 17. Note by the WTO Secretariat. such as ninety days. .a mapping of regional rules on tbts 269 TBT Committee ‘has recommended that the normal time limit for presentation of comments on notified technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures should be sixty days. hence. similar provisions in two different RTAs may correspond to extremely different practices. In order to establish the degree of liberalization of technical barriers to trade. it covers provisions related to metrology. There may be a considerable difference between the text of the agreement and the extent to which commitments are implemented. WTO rules also require that countries set up enquiry points to facilitate the flow of information among Members. In addition. Five elements are contained in the template: (1) Is there a dispute settlement body? (2) Do RTAs foresee consultations among conflicting parties to resolve disputes? (3) Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? (4) Are recommendations mandatory decisions? (5) And. one would need to know to what extent legal provisions on TBT-related matters in the RTAs coincide with actual practice. This may consist of requirements for setting up contact points but also simply regional arrangements for exchanging information. Section IV concerns the institutional and administrative structure set up by the RTA to deal with TBTs. In general. In addition. 23 May 2002.

1 The structure of the template for mapping regional rules on standards. Institution (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanisms Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to solve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the dispute settlement disallowed? V. Integration approach (A) Standards. technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures I. (B) Technical Regulations.270 roberta piermartini and michele budetta Table 5. consultations. dispute settlement mechanism) II. Reference to WTO-TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions (notifications. Further co-operation among members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology . Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (ii) Contact points/consultations for the exchange of information IV. (C) Conformity Assessment (i) (Mutual) recognition Is the burden of explaining reasons for non-equivalence on the importing country? Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for the achievement of mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international/regional accreditation agencies? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards/rules to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use/creation of regional standards/rules promoted? Is the use of international standards/rules promoted? III.

telecommunication and road vehicles. search for expertise. Figures show that RTAs tend to develop TBT disciplines in conformity with WTO rules. Technical assistance also covers the areas of processing technologies. . Out of fifty-eight RTAs with TBT provisions. there appears to be a tendency for regional agreements to favour harmonization of standards and technical regulations over mutual recognition. The idea is to assess whether it is possible to recognize a type of hub-andspoke pattern across the various RTAs. training and equipment.16 This section characterizes the results. thirty refer to the TBT Agreement and. twenty-one reaffirm their rights and obligations with respect to each other under the TBT Agreement. The table refers to a total of fifty-eight RTAs that include provisions on TBTs out of the over seventy RTAs surveyed. respectively. in particular. In fact. These figures include two RTAs – Canada–Chile and AFTA – that only contain standards-related provisions for specific sectors. The second sub-section highlights whether there are some common features characterizing RTAs subscribed by the US. 4. The first subsection aims at providing insights into what are the most common types of TBT provisions in regional agreements.1 What are the most common provisions? Table 5. The third sub-section attempts to provide an indication of the extent to which RTAs have gone beyond the TBT Agreement in removing technical barriers to trade. including adequate laboratory capabilities for testing and certification to allow assisted countries to adjust to achieve the appropriate level of standard required in their exporting countries. Overall. the option of mutual recognition in general does not apply to standards and technical regulations. respectively. 4 Overview of the results The results of the complete mapping of regional rules into the template described above are reported in Annex 2 below. the EU.2 shows the number of RTAs by provision. but to conformity 16 Annex 2 reports mapped information in a 0–1 format.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 271 preparation of technical regulations and the establishment of the relevant bodies or institutions. where 0 denotes absence of a certain provision. It is divided into three sub-sections. EFTA and Mexico. Qualitative information reporting the wording of the agreement is available on request to the authors. while 1 denotes its presence.

Integration approach Standards (i) Mutual recognition Is the burden of explaining reasons for non-equivalence on the importing country? Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for the achievement of mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international/regional accreditation agencies? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards/rules to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use/creation of regional standards/rules promoted? Is the use of international standards/rules promoted? III.2 An overview of TBT provisions in RTAs Number of RTAs (out of a total of 58 surveyed RTAs with TBT provisions) 30 11 21 6 I. Reference to WTO TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions As applied to: II. Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? Technical Conformity regulations assessment 5 2 15 7 39 6 – – 1 1 6 – 1 1 2 – – – 17 – 25 2 29 3 25 2 – – 12 14 12 – 10 13 8 – 30 21 10 9 .272 roberta piermartini and michele budetta Table 5.

a mapping of regional rules on tbts

273

Table 5.2 (cont.)
Number of RTAs (out of a total of 58
surveyed RTAs with TBT provisions)
(ii) Contact points/consultations
for the exchange of
information

20

IV. Institution
(i) Administrative bodies
Is a regional body
established?
(ii) Dispute settlement
mechanisms
Is there a regional dispute
settlement body?
Are there regional
consultations foreseen to
solve disputes?
Is there a mechanism to
issue recommendations?
Are recommendations
mandatory?
Is the recourse to the dispute
settlement disallowed?

36
34
32

V. Further co-operation among
Members
(i) Common policy (beyond
trade-related objectives)
(ii) Technical assistance
(iii) Metrology

31

24
22
24

8
2
1

8
22
17

assessment procedures. The cases in which the commitment to harmonize appears to be ‘hard law’ seem to be very limited, namely, the
EU, EU–Turkey and AFTA (for road vehicles only). There are a number
of cases in which the RTA includes some elements (such as a time
schedule for harmonization, regional standards to use for the harmonization, or a body with the aim of looking into the possibility of
harmonization) that extend the commitment to harmonize beyond that
established in WTO rules. For example, MERCOSUR constitutes a

274

roberta piermartini and michele budetta

‘working group’ (Resolution GMC 61/97: Negotiating Parties of
Working Sub-group 3) aiming at harmonizing the technical regulations
identified as barriers to trade within MERCOSUR. It is interesting to
notice that to a large extent the RTAs that favour harmonization on the
basis of regional standards as opposed to international standards are the
agreements signed by the EU.
Equivalence and mutual recognition appear to be the preferred options to
deal with TBT of conformity assessment procedures for testing, certification
and accreditation. In thirty-nine cases, countries have included provisions
encouraging mutual recognition. Six have signed MRAs. Six other agreements appear to require a commitment to recognize as equivalent the
conformity assessment of another party more strictly than the WTO. These
include NAFTA and the agreements signed by the US with Australia,
Bahrain, the Dominican Republic plus CAFTA, Chile and Morocco.
Turning to transparency provisions in RTAs, summary statistics
reported in Table 5.2 show that transparency is also recognized to be
important at the regional level. Overall, there are thirty RTAs that include
transparency provisions. In particular, twenty agreements require the
establishment of a system for the exchange of information within the RTA.
In addition, twenty-one RTAs urge members to notify each other about
new standards-related measures or a modification of existing measures. But
only nine have a rule more stringent than the WTO’s, in the sense that they
specify that countries shall give at least sixty days notification prior to the
adoption or modification of a technical regulation. For example, notification procedures for countries members of the EEA require a three-month
standstill before the new regulation is brought into force.
As far as the institutional arrangement established by RTAs is concerned, it is important to note that most of the RTAs that contain a
chapter on TBTs include provisions that establish a committee, body or
network for standards-related matters. In addition, in some cases where
a committee for standards-related matters is not established, the
agreement provides for co-operation between the parties in order to
‘provide organizational support to foster the establishment of regional
networks and bodies’ (this is the case, for example, of Article 18.3 of the
EU–Chile FTA). The template, however, reports the count of RTAs that
establish committees and bodies whose scope of activity (although it
varies across agreements) tends to include: (1) monitoring the implementation and administration of the agreement; (2) providing a forum
to consult on and discuss issues relating to standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, or also organize a working

a mapping of regional rules on tbts

275

party; (3) coordinating initiatives among members, or providing advice,
or promoting actions towards development, application and enforcement of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment
procedures; (4) assisting in the provision of technical assistance.17
Furthermore, twenty-four RTAs among those surveyed contain provisions for the resolution of disputes among members. In all of these
cases, regional agreements foresee consultations. Some agreements (e.g.
NAFTA and ALADI) also envisage recourse to technical groups that can
provide non-binding recommendations. The Andean Community, the
EU, EFTA, the EEA and the Group of Three set up a formal system of
resolution of standards-related disputes (Box 5.2 provides some details of
the EU and the EEA’s system). In the case of the Andean Community, for
example, if a country considers that the national standards or technical
regulations or the conformity assessment procedures of another country
constitute technical barriers to trade, ‘it may hold consultations with the
Member Country that adopts the measure, solicit the technical intervention of the Committee or approach the Board . . . and if the Board
finds that a barrier exists may order the revocation of the measure’. This
process, it is also agreed, must take place within thirty calendar days.
Finally, some agreements relate their commitments on standards not only
to the removal of technical barriers to trade to facilitate the exchange of
goods, but also to other objectives. For example, the Australia–Singapore
and Australia–Thailand agreements state that the purpose of the chapter on
standards-related measures is to facilitate trade and ‘investment between the
Parties’. In COMESA, the programme on standards-related measures is also
explicitly aimed at ensuring ‘quality’, and in CARICOM it is targeted at both
the quality and efficiency of production.
Twenty-two agreements provide for technical assistance (TA). Commitments to TA vary across agreements. Technical assistance provisions in
the agreements between the EU and a developing country clearly states that
TA is provided by the EU. In general, TA is to be provided on terms and
conditions that countries mutually agree upon. In some cases, TA is defined
in terms of training. For example, the Andean Community establishes the
‘Andean Training Program’. In COMESA, countries agree to consultation
17

In some cases, standards-related committees established by RTAs also have a substantial
coordination role. For example, in ALADI, the Administrative Commission has a
responsibility ‘to promote the actions that are needed to make mutual recognition of
conformity assessment systems viable’; and ‘to promote, to the extent possible, joint
positions of signatory countries at international forums concerned with technical
regulations, technical standards, and conformity assessment’.

regulations. Such a possibility derives from the ‘direct effect’ principle. in which the Court held that rights conferred on individuals by European Community legislation should be enforceable by those individuals in national courts. he or she must be the addressee of the decision or directly and individually concerned by the act in question.) the law is observed. Secondly. 18 18 The direct effect is a principle of European Community law. Nonetheless. ‘it shall bring the matter before the Commission’. according to which certain pieces of European legislation are enforceable by citizens of the member States. directives. and sometimes must. as laid down in Article 227 of the EU Treaty. In order to do so. EU legislation allows both the possibility of finding a diplomatic solution to the disputes and of resolving them through the ECJ. If the national court is faced with a legal problem which concerns TBTs. The same Article provides that. First. Individuals will then be able to bring a case to the ECJ by means of that procedure. there are two ways in which an individual can bring a case before the ECJ or the Court of First Instance. disputes related to TBT issues are administered according to the EU Treaty of Rome. and was established by the ECJ in Van Gend en Loos v. suspend the proceedings and make a reference to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling asking the ECJ to give an interpretation or to review the legality of a Community law. As far as disputes arising between individuals are concerned. . Article 220 provides that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance ‘shall ensure that in the interpretation and application’ of the Treaty and European Community legislation (treaties. ‘if the Commission has not delivered an opinion within three months of the date on which the matter was brought before it. the absence of such opinion shall not prevent the matter from being brought before the European Court of Justice’. a Member State ‘which considers that another Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation’ deriving from the TBTrelated corpus of legislation may bring the matter before the ECJ. etc. Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen. it may. On the other hand. Direct effect is not mentioned in any of the EU Treaties. As far as Member States are concerned. an individual cannot bring an action against another person (natural or legal) or against a Member State before the Community courts. It is possible to bring a case indirectly where the case is being dealt with by the national courts. An individual may also directly contest a decision taken by a Community institution before the Court of First Instance. In other words.2 the system to settle disputes on tbt matters in the eu and the eea The EU Disputes concerning TBT-related issues in the EU may involve Member States and individuals. before a Member State brings an action against another Member State for an alleged infringement.276 roberta piermartini and michele budetta box 5.

is in violation of its obligations under the EEA Agreement. The extent to which these provisions establish a common unit of measure is. two ways of dealing with the matter are possible: 1. the individual could. on training needs and establish. under very strict conditions. Seventeen agreements contain a specific provision on ‘metrology’. the . the Member States parties to the dispute may agree to request the ECJ to give a ruling on the interpretation of the relevant rules. TBT-related issues in the EEA may also involve Member States and individuals.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 277 Box 5. very different. The competent court could (and most likely would) ask the EFTA Court (if it is an EEA/EFTA Member State) or the ECJ (if it is an EU Member State) for an advisory opinion/preliminary ruling on the matter. In the EU–Tunisia and EU– Lebanon agreements. If the dispute is only between two Member States. if a dispute concerns the interpretation of TBT-related provisions of the EEA Agreement (which are identical in substance to corresponding rules of the EU Treaty) and if the dispute has not been settled within three months after it has been brought before the EEA Joint Committee.2 (cont. there is no tribunal/court that would deal with such a dispute. A private operator could also bring an action to the competent court of the State concerned and maintain that the legislation. in conjunction with the African Regional Organization for Standardization.) The EEA As in the EU. they are under no obligation to do so) and the ruling is unfavourable. The dispute settlement procedure in Article 111 of the EEA Agreement would therefore apply. If the surveillance authority decided to act (although. On the one hand. on which the action of the State is based. the assistance activity is targeted towards the upgrading of Tunisian and Lebanese laboratories for testing in order to set the conditions for achieving MRAs.e. challenge the validity of the ruling before the EFTA Court (if it is an ESA decision) or the ECJ (if it is a Commission decision). for example. however. the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) for the EEA/EFTA Member States and the European Commission for the EU Member States). and the EEA Joint Committee may settle the dispute. An individual could inform one of the surveillance authorities of the EEA Agreement (i. 2. Accordingly. If the dispute involves an individual against one of the contracting parties. training programmes designed to meet the specific needs of the common market.

In particular.278 roberta piermartini and michele budetta agreement establishing the Andean Community states that countries shall adopt the International System of Units as the official units of measurement for the Andean sub-region (similarly in ALADI. over two-thirds of RTAs surveyed in this paper include TBTrelated provisions. EU–Tunisia calls for co-operating towards the use of EU measures. In fact. In this sub-section. some RTAs envisage the possibility of co-operating in standards-related matters to further their integration beyond trade-related objectives. the majority of the agreements recognize the importance of transparency as a way to remove TBTs. However. EFTA. the US and Mexico present common characteristics. having entered into the highest number of RTAs. to the greatest extent possible. . whenever the national patterns comprise or appear to create unnecessary obstacles to trade’. RTAs recognize the importance of removing TBTs for trade. the EU. Moreover. the agreement of the Group of Three states that ‘Parties shall make compatible. 4. 19 The existence of families of RTAs is also investigated for trade remedies (in Chapter 4 above) and for competition provisions (in Chapter 8 below).19 Table 5.3 provides summary statistics for each of these four families of RTAs. On the other hand. Mexico and the US appear to be driving the process through a progressive expansion of their network of preferential agreements. In conclusion.2 Are there families of RTAs? Recent studies on the proliferation of regional trade agreements have highlighted the risk of polarization of trade around a few hubs (Crowford and Fiorentino 2005). a relatively high number of RTAs establish regional bodies to deal with standards. EU–South Africa (as well as EU–Tunisia and EU–Morocco) calls for co-operation on the issue of metrology. The results of the analysis of this section suggest that there is a tendency for countries to favour harmonization of standards and technical regulations. and CARICOM only establishes that countries should aim at facilitating the development of a metrology infrastructure. their national metrological patterns using existing international metrological patterns as a guide. we examine whether TBT-related provisions in the network of RTAs signed by the EU. COMESA and CEFTA). interestingly. and mutual recognition of conformity assessment as approaches to remove TBTs. And. EFTA. but very few agreements define at the regional level more stringent commitments than at the multilateral level.

a mapping of regional rules on tbts 279 Table 5. Institution (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanisms Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to solve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? 19 9 16 9 9 7 10 10 7 0 3 5 7 6 6 0 9 3 6 0 11 2 7 7 0 0 6 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 9 0 3 3 12 0 2 0 1 0 6 0 9 0 0 1 3 0 1 6 3 5 2 5 1 1 7 2 2 8 6 5 1 0 2 5 2 0 7 7 5 5 5 3 3 3 8 7 7 8 7 8 7 7 7 4 4 4 8 7 7 7 6 7 2 0 1 4 2 2 0 2 . Integration approach (i) (Mutual) recognition (for conformity assessment) Is the burden of explaining reasons for nonequivalence on the importing country? Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for the achievement of mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international/ regional accreditation agencies? (ii) Harmonization (of technical regulations) Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use/creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III. Reference to WTO TBT Agreement Definitions Rules Specific provisions II. Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (ii) Contact points/consultations for the exchange of information IV.3 Characteristics of RTAs by hub EU EFTA US Mexico Total Number of RTAs Of which with TBT provisions I.

to the greatest extent practicable. they do not specify whether this co-operation should take the form of (mutual) recognition or harmonization. six out of the seven agreements involving the US (NAFTA and bilateral agreements with Australia. these agreements establish co-operation in the field of standards. technical regulations and conformity assessment. In particular. In particular.’ This has been interpreted for the purpose of the template as pointing to harmonization. The one agreement appearing in the table as favouring harmonization is the NAFTA agreement. Chile and Morocco) establish that ‘where a Party does not accept the results of a conformity assessment procedure conducted in the territory of the other Party. it shall. out of the nine RTAs signed by the US and surveyed in this paper. the focus of the US network of RTAs appears to be the recognition of conformity assessments.) EU EFTA US Mexico Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the dispute settlement disallowed? V.3 shows that. Further co-operation among members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 13 0 3 0 1 0 8 0 9 0 7 0 1 0 7 3 4. explain the reasons’. and/or . make compatible their respective standards-related measures. the Dominican Republic plus CAFTA.2) establishes that ‘Parties shall.3 (cont. none of the bilateral agreements suggest the option of harmonization. Secondly.280 roberta piermartini and michele budetta Table 5. on request of the other Party. This agreement (Article 906. More generally. The results also highlight some distinguishing features of this family of RTAs. But in most of the cases. These are the US–Jordan and US–Israel FTAs. First. All these agreements foster initiatives to develop mutual recognition. Bahrain. but the agreement does not explicitly refer to harmonization.2.1 US agreements Table 5. two do not include TBT provisions. a minority of agreements specify the type of approach to adopt to remove TBTs created by different standards and technical regulations.

One group of agreements are represented by those signed by the EU with developing countries geographically close to the EU (that is.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 281 that each Party shall recognize conformity assessment bodies in the territory of the other Party ‘on terms no less favourable than those it accords to conformity assessment bodies in its territory’ (e. depending on whether harmonization should occur on the basis of EU standards or international standards. all RTAs that contain a chapter on TBT signed by the US include provisions that establish a responsibility to administer the agreement (either in the form of a committee. and to promote the use of both EU and international standards. The other group of agreements are those with geographically distant countries.5 of the US–Bahrain FTA). while the former do. 4. Finally. as in the case of the US–Chile and NAFTA. as parties reaffirm their commitment to international standards. Article 7. Mexico has a commitment to make compatible its standards within NAFTA. the requirement to harmonize to European standards may in this case be incompatible with pre-existing commitments. In the case of the EU–Chile FTA. A certain degree of harmonization of standards appears to be the preferred option in these agreements. or in the form of a coordinator) and the commitment to facilitate the exchange of information among RTA members. In the case of EU–Mexico. Therefore. A common feature of all agreements between the EU and developing countries is that they generally require the latter to co-operate in enhancing the quality of their laboratories through harmonizing their standards to those of the EU.g. The US–Singapore agreement states that each Party shall take steps to implement the APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment with respect to the other party.2 EU agreements There are as many as sixteen RTAs signed by the EU with developing countries and surveyed in this study. Two types of agreements in the family of EU agreements can be distinguished. such as Chile and Mexico. parties agree ‘to bridge the gap’ between their standards and technical regulations. in the Mediterranean area). These latter agreements do not include a provision calling solely for harmonization to European standards. the chapter on TBTs does not go much further than WTO rules.2. In particular. There may be a variety of reasons explaining this difference between these two groups of EU-driven RTAs and between the EU–Chile and the EU–Mexico FTA. . A possible reason may be that both Chile and Mexico have also signed RTAs with the US.

mutual recognition agreements with third countries concerning conformity assessment for products where the use of a mark is provided for in the EU legislation are to be negotiated on the initiative of the Community. Romania. any time a Party has taken a measure that may create an obstacle to trade. while there is no commitment to liberalize TBTs beyond the WTO rule.3 Do regional rules on TBTs go beyond the WTO rules? What are the RTAs that have committed to removing technical barriers to trade to the largest extent? And. parties commit to foster harmonization of their technical regulations on the basis of international standards (ALADI is the only exception to this as it also encourages the development of regional standards) and to foster mutual recognition. the family of RTAs signed by EFTA does not include provisions on harmonization of standards and mutual recognition. in the framework of the Joint Committee. 4.2. All these agreements promote co-operation in the field of standards.282 roberta piermartini and michele budetta 4. For example. Bulgaria. As in the TBT Agreement. Mexico. technical regulations or conformity assessment. Singapore and Turkey). the EFTA–Singapore FTA. can we claim that the degree to which regional arrangements have succeeded in removing technical barriers to trade is higher for the RTAs among developed countries and lower for the RTAs between developed and developing countries? The template reported in Annex 2 below allows us to build a number of alternative indexes of depth of integration in terms of TBTs to . promotes mutual recognition of conformity assessments. In general.4 Mexico agreements Common features also emerge for the agreements to which Mexico is a party. One reason may be that EFTA’s scope for negotiating in this field is limited by the extent of the competence of the Commission.3 EFTA agreements We surveyed eight of the FTA agreements EFTA countries signed with developing countries (those with Israel. the Palestinian Authority. A second feature common to the majority of EFTA agreements (aside from EFTA–Mexico and EFTA–Palestinian Authority) with developing countries is that they envisage holding consultations. Morocco. There appears to be a tendency in these agreements to include provisions for transparency and for establishing institutions to deal with disputes and the administration of the agreements. 4.2. But one.

4 The extent of regional TBT liberalization . Obtained by counting the number of provisions stronger than WTO.a Only provisions on Top 10 most integrated further co-operation (3) institutions (4) RTAsb (5) Table 5. transparency. if RTAs allow a period for comments longer than 60 days. Mexico–Uraguay SADC SPARTECA US–Israel US–Jordan WAEMU EU–Mexico EU–South Africa Australia–Thailand Canada–Costa Rica CER EU–Egypt EU–Lebanon Mexico–Chile Canada–Israel New Zealand–Singapore SAFTA Turkey–Israel EFTA–Palestinian Authority Mexico–EFTA No provision stronger than WTO (2) Mexico–Israel EU–Syria GCC CEMAC China–Hong Kong China–Macao EU–Croatia EU–Israel No TBT chapter (1) Mexico–Northern Triangle CARICOM Australia–Singapore EEA Mexico–Nicaragua EU NAFTA Andean Community Group of Three ALADI Provisions stronger than WTO under three categories: integration.b a Mexico–Nicaragua Mexico–Northern Triangle NAFTA Andean Community Australia–US EU EEA Group of Three For the purpose of this table.

In contrast. we turn to the next sub-section where we attempt to use a more systematic analysis. and ten more that establish forms of co-operation on TBT matters limited to metrology or technical assistance but do not include any provision on how to liberalize TBTs. only eight RTAs progress beyond WTO rules in terms of the approach to integration and rules of transparency as well as provide for regional institutions/ mechanisms to deal with TBT matters. and whether they foresee deeper integration than WTO in terms of the integration approach. 5 Alternative explanations for the inclusion of specific provisions Economic theory suggests that the method and the extent to which TBTs are removed within an RTA is likely to depend on the level of development of countries in the agreement (Baldwin 2000).284 roberta piermartini and michele budetta attempt to answer these questions. there are twelve that do not include a TBT chapter. simply classifies the RTAs surveyed in this paper on the basis of whether they include a TBT chapter or not. The table shows that. out of the over seventy agreements in our sample.4. Finally. In order to understand the factors that determine the extent and the type of integration. transparency and institutions. We therefore do not engage in this exercise. When liberalization of technical barriers to trade takes the form of mutual recognition of testing rules and product standards.4. it is difficult to assess a relationship between the level of development of member states and the extent of integration. Column 5 shows the ten most integrated RTAs in terms of TBTs. in Columns 1 to 4. the definition of alternative indexes is likely to depend on the specific question one wants to answer. Table 5. In fact. However. and it is subject to a certain degree of subjectivity as to the importance of specific provisions in realizing the liberalization of technical barriers to trade. whether they simply establish co-operation on TBT-related matters. six that define rules that do not go any further than the WTO’s in liberalizing TBTs. In order to provide an overall understanding of the extent of regional integration. one country must have a certain degree of trust in another country’s ability to perform . whether they have at least one provision stronger than the WTO’s. both North–North RTAs and North–South RTAs appear among the ten most integrated RTA. The latter element may be important in signalling the actual implementation of the agreement. On the basis of Table 5.

Variables measuring the level of development and similarity GDPpcAV is the average per capita GDP at PPP among RTA partner countries GDPpcGAP is the difference between the highest and the lowest per capita GDP among the countries in the RTA 20 Baldwin (2000) highlights the possible emergence of a two-tier world when liberalization takes place through regional agreements. For each of these four classes of provisions. whether the likelihood of the inclusion of the provision depends on the level of development of country members of the RTA. 2. harmonization is more easily and efficiently achieved among similar countries. This is more likely to occur in regional agreements among developed countries than in regional agreements between developed and developing countries. (2) mutual recognition of product standards. The variables we used as explanatory variables to test each of these hypotheses are the following: 1.20 Similarly. 3. (3) transparency and (4) establishment of a dispute settlement body for the solution of controversies related to standards-related matters. although a certain degree of coordination of standards is desirable. rather than at the multilateral level. there are natural limits to the extent of international harmonization due to countries’ different levels of development. we estimate a probit model to determine what are the factors that affect the probability that the agreement includes such provisions. endowments and preferences. and 4. Therefore. whether the likelihood of the inclusion of a certain provision is determined by the extent of prior integration among the partner countries. . technological advancement. In particular.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 285 tests and adequately safeguard health and safety. we test four hypotheses: 1. as far as harmonization of standards and technical regulations is concerned. This section attempts to provide some econometric evidence on the factors that may affect whether specific TBT-related provisions are included in regional agreements. we focus on four classes of provisions: those that encourage (1) harmonization of technical regulations. whether the inclusion of a provision is determined by the characteristics of the family of RTAs to which partner countries belong. In particular. whether the characteristics of the provisions are affected by the existence of overlapping RTAs.

d_EFTA and d_Mexico are four dummy variables that denote whether the RTA belongs to the EU. Japan. Developed countries (the North) include: the US. 2. Hong Kong and Singapore. the EFTA or the Mexico family of RTAs. Australia. the EU. New Zealand. Central and North America.286 roberta piermartini and michele budetta GDPpcSimil is the ratio between GDPpcGAP and GDPpcAV GDPpcCV is the coefficient of variation of GDP per capita in the region d_similar is a dummy variable that takes the value 1 if RTAs are among developed countries (North–North RTAs) or among developing countries (South–South RTAs) and 0 if RTAs are between developed and developing countries (North–South). the Middle East and Central Asia. respectively. Europe. d_northnorth. Family characteristics: d_EU. d_northsouth are three dummies that denote whether the RTA is North–North (between developed countries). Canada. the US. the Mediterranean Sea and Africa. South–South (between developing countries) or North–South (between developed and developing countries). d_US. and South Asia and Oceania. . EFTA countries. Variables measuring the level of integration: sharerta is the average share of intra-regional trade during the fiveyear period preceding implementation sharerta04 is the share of intra-regional trade in 2004 cet is a dummy variable used to indicate the presence of a common external tariff integpol is a dummy variable used to indicate a common political system integmon is a dummy variable used to indicate monetary union integfac is a dummy variable used to indicate freedom of movement of capital and labour integ is a dummy variable that takes on a value of 1 if integpol ¼ 1 or integmon ¼ 1 or integfac ¼ 1 intrarta04 is the value of intra-regional trade in 2004 intrarta is the average value of intra-RTA trade during the five-year period preceding implementation geo is a dummy variable that takes the value 1 if countries belong to the same geographical area. The variable distinguishes four geographical areas: South. 3. d_southsouth.

one of them (randomly chosen) was reported. partnerships including the US are less likely to include provisions for the harmonization of technical regulations. For each class of provisions. When. The results are not surprising if we note that a major difference between the EU and the US standardization system is that the EU has a European standard-setting body whose standards are presumed to be in line with EU regulations. mutual recognition of conformity assessment. when regressions are run on the requirement to harmonize to a regional standard. The tables report the results for each of the four hypotheses tested introducing one explanatory variable at a time. Overlapping RTAs: rtaoverlap is the count of the total number of RTAs that parties to a regional agreement have signed with third countries d_rtaoverlap is a dummy that denotes whether any party to an RTA is also party to other RTAs.5 to 5. whereas the US has no single standard-setting body. all variables were insignificant.b). only estimations where explanatory variables are significant have been reported. This is also quite an intuitive result as it would be hard for a country to ensure compatibility across different agreements when committing to harmonize standards in one of them. Each table shows the results for one of the four classes of provisions analyzed: harmonization of technical regulations. the participation in multiple RTAs presents a negative and significant coefficient.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 287 4. The results reported in Table 5. The results of the analysis carried out using a probit model are reported in Tables 5. notification of standards and procedures. By contrast. However. . Column 5 reports the results when all variables are considered simultaneously. as listed in columns 1 to 4. Partnership with the EU appears to be a strongly significant factor in explaining harmonization to regional standards. and if RTAs belong to the family of RTAs to which the EU is a partner.a and 2. dispute settlement body. the deeper their degree of integration as measured by the share of trade within the region (columns 2. The estimations do not appear to detect a lower propensity of countries belonging to multiple RTAs to introduce provisions of harmonization in their regional agreements.8. for a certain hypothesis.5 show that the likelihood that provisions encouraging harmonization in technical regulations are introduced in a regional agreement is higher the more similar the member countries are in terms of the level of development.

05 "0. 1. In particular.86 0. the similarity of countries in terms of their levels of development is very important (Columns 1. 1.10 4.b 2.a 2.76 "0.07 Note: *.5 The likelihood of provisions encouraging the harmonization of technical regulation 1 GDPpcSimil sharerta sharerta04 geo d_EU d_US d_EFTA d_Mexico rtaoverlap 2.23*** 0. Table 5.46 0. respectively.66*** 5 1.27*** 0.38 "0.48*** "0.25* 5 0.a. Table 5.b 1.05 0.89*** 0. respectively. *** significant at 15.58* "1. 10.b.6 The likelihood of provisions encouraging mutual recognition of conformity assessment 1.44 0. Turning to the results for mutual recognition of conformity assessment.58 "0.44 "0.c 2 3 4 0.20 1. *** significant at 15.91** "0. in this case. there does not appear to be strong evidence that the level of integration of countries or the participation in multiple RTAs has a significant effect .c 3 4 0. 5% significance level. 5% significance level. In contrast.53 0. 10.66*** 0.85*** 1. **.06 Note: *.a d_similar d_northnorth d_northsouth cet d_EU d_US d_EFTA d_Mexico rtaoverlap 1. **.6 shows that.17*** drops out 0. provisions of mutual recognition are more likely to be introduced in agreements among developed countries.46 "1.c).288 roberta piermartini and michele budetta Table 5.39** 2.01** drops out 0.68*** 2.16* 2.

93*** 1.9* d_EU "0.08 1.28 5. **.55 "0.74* 6.5** 17.86** 7.63 0.b 1.31 0.88** 0.57*** 5.7 The likelihood of provisions encouraging notification of standards and procedures 1 d_similar sharerta sharerta04 geo cet d_EU d_US d_EFTA d_Mexico rtaoverlap 2.79*** d_northnorth 1.54*** sharerta 4. 10. *** significant at 15. 5% significance level. respectively. The fact that participation in multiple RTAs is not a significant determinant of mutual recognition of conformity assessment is not surprising since. 5% significance level.57 d_similar 0.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 289 Table 5. **.05 Note: *.a 2. unlike harmonization provisions.27*** 1.59*** 10. *** significant at 15.d 2 3 4 5 GDPpcSimil "0.b 2.05 0. .21** 0.25** 0.46** d_US 0.58*** "0. Table 5.10 1.6*** d_Mexico 0.21** 1.37** "0.89*** rtaoverlap 0.22** 3.54*** 4. on the likelihood of provisions encouraging the mutual recognition of conformity assessment.20*** d_EFTA 1.c 2. 10.32*** d_northsouth "0.8 The likelihood of provisions establishing a dispute settlement body 1. § denotes 25% significance level. respectively.d 3 4 5 0.06§ Note: *.a 1.c 1.41 "0.

we have mapped regional rules on technical barriers to trade into a template. but there also appears to be some evidence (see column 4) that the greater the number of RTAs that countries sign. 6 Conclusions In this paper. (3) provisions that increase transparency. we are in general unable to evaluate the extent to which these rules are implemented. The data reported in the template primarily rely on the legal texts of the agreements. The template distinguishes five types of provisions: (1) provisions that refer to WTO rules. the more likely is the inclusion of transparency provisions in these agreements. The results also clearly show that mutual recognition of conformity assessment characterize the agreements signed by the US (column 3). Finally. the results of the probit estimations reported in Table 5.d). and (5) provisions that foresee co-operation among regional partners on standards-related issues beyond trade-related targets and technical assistance.a to 2. Therefore. Regional agreements with one of the hub countries are also more likely to contain provisions to settle disputes (column 5).d) and the more regional partners are integrated (column 2). A first result is that the relationship between the level of development of partner countries and the likelihood of including transparency provisions does not appear significant. The most important factor in determining the probability of including transparency provision is the extent of integration (columns 2. technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Additional information has been collected only to single out the agreements that have also concluded MRAs and RTAs among countries that are all members of international accreditation bodies (the International Accreditation . The results of our estimations for transparency provisions are reported in Table 5.7.8 suggest that the likelihood of the establishment of a body to settle disputes increases if the regional agreement is between developed countries (column 1. (4) provisions that establish institutions or mechanisms to administer the agreement and solve disputes. (2) provisions that define the type of integration approach (harmonization or mutual recognition) chosen for standards.c and 1.290 roberta piermartini and michele budetta mutual recognition agreements are clearly compatible across different trade agreements. Partnership with EFTA and Mexico appears to increase the likelihood of transparency provisions too.

Dispute settlement mechanisms are most likely among developed countries. A common feature of RTAs signed by the US and Mexico seems to be the tendency to include provisions on transparency and the establishment of institutions to deal with the administration of the agreement and with the resolution of disputes.a mapping of regional rules on tbts 291 Forum or IAF. The main findings of the paper are the following: The inclusion of provisions on standards. certification and accreditation. . In particular. there appears to be a tendency for regional agreements to favour harmonization of standards and technical regulations over mutual recognition of product standards. The degree of integration of trade is an important factor in determining the likelihood of harmonization and transparency provisions. Despite these limitations. The existence of overlapping RTAs might play an important role in designing the rules for TBTs. It also allows us to examine the extent of liberalization that countries have achieved on TBT-related matters through regional integration. we are able to identify some of the major factors that affect the probability of choosing one approach relative to another one. Equivalence and mutual recognition appear to be the preferred options to deal with TBTs of conformity assessment procedures for testing. A major difference between the agreements signed by the US and the EU appears to be that. the mapping of regional rules on technical barriers to trade allows us to gain some insight into the range of policy options to remove technical barriers to trade that have been adopted within regional trade agreements. EU agreements with developing countries tend to promote harmonization to European standards. harmonization of certification standards is often a precondition for considering mutual recognition of conformity assessments. while the family of RTAs signed by the US tends to simply encourage mutual recognition of conformity assessment. the family of RTAs signed by the EU also includes provisions in favour of harmonization of technical regulations. Mutual recognition provisions are more likely to be introduced among similar countries. and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation or ILAC). technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures is widely spread across RTAs. But. Overall. In addition.

because of a ‘cloning’ tendency on the part of the hubs. This study has shown a clear tendency of free trade agreements signed by the EU to include provisions to harmonize the standards of the spoke partner country to the European standards. this measure is available only for a very limited number of countries. but some countries have a higher propensity to declare than others. The data available from the template constructed in this paper will allow us to exploit differences in the types of approach to removing TBTs adopted across RTAs to test for their impact on trade. so large gaps exist among countries that do not in any way reflect the actual situation. standards threaten to become a barrier to trade between major regional groupings. as the propensity to standardize varies across countries and sectors. It is based on the number of harmonized standards declared by countries. This paper can provide an important contribution to future research on the impact of removing TBTs on trade. the number of harmonized standards is not necessarily correlated with the extent of the removal of TBTs. thus working as a stumbling bloc in the process of multilateral liberalization.292 roberta piermartini and michele budetta A question that clearly emerges here is whether. harmonization is only one way to remove technical barriers to trade. In addition. Existing empirical literature mainly focuses on the number of harmonized standards between country pairs as a measure for the degree of TBT-related integration across countries. Finally. and it is unreliable. these provisions may lock a country into the regional agreement. To the extent that the adjustment to the European standards requires making investments. However. Annex 1 List of surveyed RTAs List of surveyed RTAs including TBT provisions in the regional agreement AFTA ALADI Andean Community Australia–Singapore Australia–Thailand Australia–US CACM Canada–Chile Canada–Costa Rica Canada–Israel CARICOM CEFTA CER COMESA EEA EFTA EFTA–Bulgaria EFTA–Israel .

date of entry into force and intra-regional trade. .a mapping of regional rules on tbts EFTA–Morocco EFTA–Palestinian Authority EFTA–Romania EFTA–Singapore EFTA–Turkey EU EU–Algeria EU–Bulgaria EU–Chile EU–Egypt EU–Jordan EU–Lebanon EU–Mexico EU–Morocco EU–PLO EU–Romania EU–South Africa EU–Switzerland and Liechtenstein EU–Tunisia EU–Turkey 293 Group of Three Japan–Singapore Korea–Chile MERCOSUR Mexico–Chile Mexico–EFTA Mexico–Japan Mexico–Nicaragua Mexico–Northern Triangle Mexico–Uruguay NAFTA New Zealand–Singapore SADC SAFTA Turkey–Israel US–Bahrain US–CAFTA–Dominican Republic US–Chile US–Morocco US–Singapore List of surveyed RTAs that did not include TBT provisions in the regional agreement CEMAC China–Hong Kong China–Macao EU–Andorra EU–Croatia EU–Faroe Islands EU–FYROM EU–Israel EU–Syria GCC Mexico–Israel SPARTECA US–Israel US–Jordan WAEMU/UEMOA The Appendix to this volume provides information on RTA member countries.

Standards: (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 AFTA (road vehicles) 1 1 0 0 ALADI 0 0 0 0 Andean Community 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Australia–Singapore 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 Australia–Thailand 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 Australia–US 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 CACM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Canada–Chile (telecommunication) Annex 2 Mapping of the regional rules by RTA Canada–Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 Canada–Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 CARICOM 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CEFTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CER .I. Integration approach A. Reference to TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions II.

Technical regulations (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? C. Conformity assessment (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? B.

Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? (cont.Do parties participate in international or regional accreditation agencies? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III.) 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 AFTA (road vehicles) 0 ALADI 0 Andean Community 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 Australia–Singapore 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Australia–Thailand 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 Australia–US 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 CACM 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 Canada–Chile (telecommunication) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 Canada–Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Canada–Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CARICOM 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CEFTA 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 CER .

Institutions (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanism Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to resolve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the DS for technical regulations disallowed? V. Further cooperation among Members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (ii) Contact points/consultations for exchange of information IV.

I. Reference to TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions II. Integration approach A. Standards: (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 EC 0 0 0 0 COMESA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Algeria 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Bulgaria 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Chile 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Egypt 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Jordan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 EC– EC– EC– EC– EC– EC– South Lebanon Mexico Morocco PLO Romania Africa .

Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? B. Technical regulations (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .

Conformity assessment (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international or regional accreditation agencies? (cont.Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? C.) EC 1 0 1 1 0 1 COMESA 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 EC– Algeria 0 0 1 0 0 1 EC– Bulgaria 0 0 1 0 1 1 EC– Chile 0 0 1 0 0 0 EC– Egypt 1 0 0 0 0 1 EC– Jordan 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 EC– South EC– EC– EC– EC– EC– Lebanon Mexico Morocco PLO Romania Africa .

Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III. Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 .

) 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 EC 0 COMESA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 EC– Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– Egypt 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 EC– Jordan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC– EC– EC– EC– EC– EC– South Lebanon Mexico Morocco PLO Romania Africa .(ii) Contact points/ consultations for exchange of information IV. Institutions (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanism Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to resolve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? (cont.

Is the recourse to the DS for technical regulations disallowed? V. Further cooperation among Members (i) Common policy/ standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 .

I. Standards: (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC–Switzerland and Liechtenstein 0 0 0 0 EC–Tunisia 0 0 0 0 EC–Turkey 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EEA 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 EFTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 EFTA–Israel 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 EFTA–Morocco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 EFTA–PLO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 EFTA–Singapore 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 EFTA–Turkey 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Group of 3 . Reference to TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions II. Integration approach A.

Conformity assessment (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international or regional accreditation agencies? 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 . Technical regulations (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? C.Is the use of international standards promoted? B.

Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III.) 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EC–Switzerland and Liechtenstein 0 EC–Tunisia 0 EC–Turkey 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 EEA 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Bulgaria 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Morocco 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–PLO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Romania 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 EFTA–Singapore 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 EFTA–Turkey 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 Group of 3 . Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (ii) Contact points/consultations for exchange of information (cont.

IV. Institutions (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanism Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to resolve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the DS for technical regulations disallowed? V. Further cooperation among Members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 .

Integration approach A. Standards: (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Japan–Singapore 1 0 1 0 Korea–Chile 1 0 1 0 MERCOSUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Mexico–Chile 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 Mexico–EFTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Mexico–Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Mexico–Nicaragua 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico–Northern Triangle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Mexico–Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 NAFTA 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 New Zealand– Singapore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SADC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SAFTA . Reference to TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions II.I.

Technical regulations (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? C. Conformity assessment (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international or regional accreditation agencies? 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .Is the use of international standards promoted? B.

Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (cont.Is the burden of justifying non-equivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III.) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 Japan–Singapore 0 Korea–Chile 0 MERCOSUR 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 Mexico–Chile 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 Mexico–EFTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico–Japan 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico–Nicaragua 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico–Northern Triangle 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico–Uruguay 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 NAFTA 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 New Zealand– Singapore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SADC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SAFTA .

Further cooperation among Members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 . Institutions (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanism Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to resolve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the DS for technical regulations disallowed? V.(ii) Contact points/consultations for exchange of information IV.

Technical regulations (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 US– Bahrain 1 0 1 0 Turkey– Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 US–CAFTA Dominican Republic 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 US–Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 US– US–Morocco Singapore .I. Reference to TBT Agreement definitions rules specific provisions II. Integration approach A. Standards: (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? B.

Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? C. Transparency requirements (i) Notification Is the time period allowed for comments specified? 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 . Conformity assessment (i) Mutual recognition Is mutual recognition in force? Is there a time schedule for achieving mutual recognition? Do parties participate in international or regional accreditation agencies? Is the burden of justifying nonequivalence on the importing country? (ii) Harmonization Are there specified existing standards to which countries shall harmonize? Is the use or creation of regional standards promoted? Is the use of international standards promoted? III.

Further cooperation among Members (i) Common policy/standardization programme (beyond trade-related objectives) (ii) Technical assistance (iii) Metrology (cont. Institutions (i) Administrative bodies Is a regional body established? (ii) Dispute settlement mechanism Is there a regional dispute settlement body? Are there regional consultations foreseen to resolve disputes? Is there a mechanism to issue recommendations? Are recommendations mandatory? Is the recourse to the DS for technical regulations disallowed? V.Is the time period allowed for comments longer than 60 days? (ii) Contact points/consultations for exchange of information IV.) 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 US– Bahrain 0 Turkey– Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 US–CAFTA Dominican Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 US–Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 US– US–Morocco Singapore .

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