The Technical Barriers to Trade is a category of non-tariff barriers to trade that came into existence to avoid the non-discriminatory procedures of technical regulation, standards and conformity assessment and also to avoid unnecessary obstacles to trade.
It was negotiated in the beginning of 1995 during Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and came into force after the establishment of the WTO.
Key Principles and Obligation
• To avoid the technical and standard discrimination among members countries. This principle applies also to conformity assessment procedures that have to "grant access for suppliers of like products originating in the territories of other members under conditions no less favourable than those accorded to suppliers of like products of national origin or originating in any other country in a comparable situation".
• Avoidance of Unnecessary Barriers to Trade: To ensure that “technical restrictions are not more trade restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective”.
• It harmonised the international standards of trade, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
• To give States the opportunity to raise their concerns before the measures come into force, members must allow reasonable time for Members to make comments, discuss their comments and to have their comments considered.