Technical Barriers to Trade

This process is already familiar to specifiers and university purchasing departments. Academic units selling international degrees should also be passing this along to students.


Technical Barriers to Trade

January 17, 2024

World According to Marco Polo


We track action in international administrative procedures that affect the safety and sustainability agenda of the education facility industry.  From time to time we find product purchasing contracts that contain “boilerplate” requiring conformity to applicable regulations found in the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).   Common examples are found in contracts for the acquisition of information technology and specialty laboratory equipment.

The World Trade Organization TBT Agreement obliges all Parties  to maintain an inquiry point that is able to answer questions from interested parties and other WTO Members regarding technical regulations, standards developed by government bodies, and conformity assessment procedures, as well as provide relevant documents.  The TBT Agreement also requires that WTO Members notify the WTO of proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures so interested parties can become acquainted with them and have an opportunity to submit written comments.

Technical Barriers to Trade Information Management System

The inquiry point and notification authority for the United States is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.  We provide a link here for the convenience of faculty, specifiers and purchasing professionals.

Notify U.S. Standards Coordination Office USA WTO Enquiry Point

We include the TBT on the agenda of our Hello World! colloquium; open to everyone.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.




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