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Standards are a feature of virtually all areas of trade in products and
services. Yet, although standards may achieve an efficient economic exchange,
they have discriminatory consequences for trading partners when governments
formulate or apply them in such a way as to cause obstacles to trade, thus
enrolling standards among the increasingly significant ‘non-tariff barriers’
regulated by the WTO. This unique and original study analyses the functions
that standards fulfil in the market, their effect on trade, and the legal
regime based on harmonization, equivalence and mutual recognition developed by
the WTO to deal with standards. The author investigates the way in which both
the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary
(SPS) Measures Agreements regulate these three tools, and discusses key topics
The definition of the concept ‘International Standard’ in the TBT Agreement.
Guidelines on equivalence issued by organizations such as the Codex
Alimentarius Commission, the World Organization for Animal Health and the
International Plant Protection Convention.
Parallels between the EC mutual recognition regime and the WTO system.
This is the first work on its subject. With its detailed and practical
analysis of WTO law on standards, the book is a fundamental reference for
practitioners, academics and policy makers in international trade law.
About the Author
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 Analysis of General Concepts and Definitions
Chapter 2 Harmonization
Chapter 3 Definition of the Concept ‘International Standard’
Chapter 4 Equivalence and Mutual Recognition: Legal and Regulatory
Chapter 5 Equivalence and Mutual Recognition: The EC Case
Table of Cases