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Part III World Trade Law and Regional Trade Agreements, XVI The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

From: Principles of International Economic Law (2nd Edition)

Matthias Herdegen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 08 December 2023

Competition — International investment law — International monetary law — Technical barriers to trade

This chapter turns to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), which applies to technical regulations and other technical standards related to product characteristics or production processes such as labelling requirements. Technical requirements in terms of the TBT Agreement are, as a rule, less of a threat to international trade than the restrictive measures covered by the SPS Agreement. This difference justifies and explains a far more lenient standard of scrutiny for technical barriers to trade. Still, many technical provisions such as requirements for labelling may have a strong effect on market shares in light of consumer attitudes. A number of technical regulations are inspired by protectionist motives or have at least a protectionist effect by distorting competitive conditions in favour of domestic products, especially in context with the protection of public health.

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