The WTO meeting of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee took place on 29–31 October 2013.
The committee, which also monitors the implementation of the TBT Agreement by discussing specific trade concerns, this time heard a near-record 51 concerns. Once more, the environment and health featured heavily in the discussions, the topics ranging from sustainability criteria for biofuels to tobacco products, food and alcohol labelling, genetically modified organisms, medical devices and telecommunications.
Much of the discussion on specific trade concerns is based on information that members share with each other on their technical requirements for goods sold on their markets, including imports, as set out in regulations and standards — they do this by notifying the WTO. In order to improve the way members share information, the Secretariat announced the launch of an online system — the TBT Notification Submission System — designed to speed up the process.