Skip to main content
book

Facilitating Trade through Regulatory Cooperation

The Case of the WTO’s TBT/SPS Agreements and Committees

By World Trade Organization WTO and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD

The WTO plays an important role in supporting efforts to achieve international regulatory cooperation

(IR C) and to facilitate trade. First, the WTO provides a multilateral framework for trade among its 164

members, with a view to ensuring that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. Second, the

WTO’s Agreements provide important legal disciplines, helping to promote good regulatory practice and IR C at

the domestic level as a means of reducing unnecessary barriers to trade.

This publication highlights how

the WTO’s Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary

Measures (SPS) and the work of their related Committees promote opportunities for regulatory cooperation among

governments and ease trade frictions. It demonstrates how members’ notification of draft measures, harmonisation

of measures with international standards, discussion of specific trade concerns and other practices help to

facilitate global trade in goods. The study also makes recommendations on how to benefit further from the

transparency and cooperation opportunities provided by the TBT and SPS Agreements.

Get daily updates from Brookings