International Standards

Research Handbook: TBT Agreement (Michael Trebilcock & Tracey Epps, eds, 2013)

62 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2013 Last revised: 26 Mar 2014

Date Written: March 31, 2013


The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, an agreement under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization, prescribes rules pertaining to technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures. One of the important hallmarks of the agreement is the use of international standards developed by a variety of international bodies, the use of which leads to a presumption of compliance with WTO law.

Recent decisions of dispute settlement organs have shed some light on the obligations that WTO members incur under the agreement and the circumstances in which WTO members may deviate from such standards. While these decisions have brought about some clarity, they also leave many questions unanswered, including the division of power between the international trade regime and WTO members.

Keywords: TBT Agreement, technical barriers to trade, harmonization, policy space

JEL Classification: F10, K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Markus, International Standards (March 31, 2013). Research Handbook: TBT Agreement (Michael Trebilcock & Tracey Epps, eds, 2013), Available at SSRN:

Markus Wagner (Contact Author)

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522

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