Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Eighth Triennial Review

Photo courtesy the WTO

The TBT Committee is mandated to review the operation and implementation of the TBT Agreement on a triennial basis. The Eighth Triennial Review was adopted at the TBT Committee meeting of 15th November 2018. WTO members agreed on almost thirty recommendations that will improve the way members deal with standards, regulations and trade in the TBT committee.  Click here to download the Eighth Triennial Review of the Operation and Implementation of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Under Article 15.4

Every three years, WTO members evaluate how they are applying the TBT Agreement. The review process started in November 2017 and was driven by members’ proposals for new work relating to specific topics addressed by the committee. Trinidad and Tobago commented on 13 proposals of specific interest to the country and the CARICOM region. Click here to read comments from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the proposals submitted for the 8th Triennial Review of the TBT Agreement.

The recommendations approved by members cover the following areas:


  • notifying final TBT regulations when adopted and making it easier to access them online;
  • improving access to national websites that make available all adopted final regulations;
  • notifying impact assessments conducted as part of regulatory processes;
  • improving the quality of information in notifications such as the products affected, relevant documents, and international standards used as a basis for the regulations;
  • enhancing coordination between regulators and TBT enquiry points, including through ePing

Testing, inspection and certification:

  • work on guidelines to help regulators when choosing and designing conformity assessment procedures;
  • find better ways to avoid duplicating procedures or restricting trade in the area of conformity assessment


  • Members agreed to hold a workshop on the role of gender in the development of standards. They also agreed to discuss best practices on incorporating standards by reference in regulation, taking account of existing guidelines and policy considerations

Marking and labelling:

  • Members agreed to discuss how to facilitate compliance with marking and labelling requirements for products

Technical assistance:

  • Members agreed to explore the feasibility of either expanding the present Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) to encompass measures covered by the TBT Agreement, or setting up a separate and dedicated TBT development facility

Organizing debates in the committee:

  • Members agreed to apply new procedures for raising specific trade concerns (STCs), on a trial basis, in order to give members more time to engage with each other and domestic stakeholders in advance of meetings.