- Beginner 2, Course 4.2
The World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) was established to ensure that technical regulations, standards and specifications required to assess conformity with them, do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. Successive reviews of the WTO/TBT Agreement have noted the usefulness of ISO/IEC conformity assessment standards and guides in harmonising conformity assessment activities and as benchmarks for the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies so that adequate credibility and confidence in the obtained results may be achieved. The use of ISO/IEC conformity assessment standards helps to overcome trade barriers and promotes the international recognition of conformity assessment, market surveillance, and related activities, as well as, the worldwide acceptance of the results of these activities.
After completing this module, you should be able to:
- Understand that the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) was established to ensure that technical regulations, standards and technical specifications do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade;
- Understand that measurement results can be understood by all the parties involved only if the measurement units in which they are expressed are also standardised;
- Understand that accreditation is generally based on regional and international standards and technical specifications/guidelines relevant to the specific laboratory;
- Understand that National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) must have the resources to engage in standards development at the national, regional, and international levels; and
- Understand that although the use of standards as a basis for technical regulations may be seen as highly efficient, this may attract some serious criticism for mixing two separate activities that should operate completely separately from each other.