Consumer Information, Consumer Preferences and Product Labels under the TBT Agreement
Chapter in Michael J. Trebilcock and Tracey Epps (eds.), Research Handbook on the WTO and Technical Barriers to Trade (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013)
31 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2012 Last revised: 21 Apr 2015
Date Written: November 24, 2012
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade ('TBT Agreement') of the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulates the requirements that WTO Members may impose on product labels and other 'technical regulations'. Requirements that discriminate against or between imported products are particularly problematic, while non-discriminatory requirements are more likely to be found consistent with the TBT Agreement. Three cases decided by the WTO Appellate Body in 2012 shed light on the meaning and application of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of that agreement. A case study of product labelling for health reasons (tobacco, alcohol and nutrition) provides further context for understanding the significance of the TBT Agreement for Members' pursuit of non-trade objectives in connection with product labels.
Keywords: WTO, health, tobacco, alcohol, nutrition, food, label
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation