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WTO/TBT Notifications

To encourage transparency and avoid any barriers to trade, before any WTO member decides to establish new requirements, they must notify the other WTO members, via the WTO Secretariat, of their intention to do so. Ultimately, it is enterprises which benefit from international trade. Therefore, Jamaican businesses should have an interest protecting their interests and making themselves heard by utilizing the notification system established by the TBT agreement.

WTO/TBT notifications are available on the Technical Barriers to Trade Information Management System (TBT IMS), a publicly available database of transparency information in relation to technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and standards maintained by the WTO Secretariat. The portal enables searches by product code, date or notifying member, making it very easy to filter the notifications most relevant to specific manufacturers and exporters.

National Enquiry Point search and listing is also available on the portal. 21,000 notifications have been published to date on the portal. Another useful tool is the EU-TBT Database. The EU-TBT Database utilizes the TBT IMS as its information source. This database provides an automatic alert system that enables subscribers to receive new TBT notifications by email in a particular area or areas.

In addition the tool provides Activity Report and Interactive Statistics. The EU-TBT Database is an effective tool for staying informed on the latest, relevant notifications with actively pursuing the information required.

Current WTO/TBT Notifications

National Notifications

G/TBT/N/J/53 - International Property Maintenance Code

International Notifications

G/TBT/N/EU/374 – Health Claims Made on Food

This draft Commission Regulation concerns the refusal of authorization of one health claim made on foods and referring to the reduction of disease risk. European Union Deadline: June 27, 2016

Jamaica TBT notifications are published in the Jamaica Gazette and on the WTO-TBT Management System. Full text for national or international TBT notifications can be obtained from the Bureau of Standards Jamaica by completing the request form available here.The most recent notification issued is G/TBT/N/J/53 - International Property Maintenance Code (to the left). For more information on WTO/TBT notifications, including where to access the full listing of international TBT notifications and how to receive product-specific notifications please see here.

WTO/TBT Notification Procedure

It is important for businesses to have a voice in the development of standards that impact their businesses, not only in Jamaica, but in international markets as well. To that end, businesses should monitor for relevant notifications via the tools above, request full texts where necessary and provide comments. A brief outline of the notification procedure is provided below.

  • Before any WTO member decides to establish new requirements, they must notify the other WTO members, via the WTO Secretariat, of their intention to do so.

  • WTO Secretariat shares notification with members via TBT Information Management System.

  • WTO members are given a minimum 60 days to review proposed requirements and provide comments.

  • If a company believes that the proposed measure is in breach of one of the provisions of the TBT Agreement, they should forward their concerns to the BSJ.

  • BSJ reviews comments and if concerns are shared, send comments to the NEP of the WTO member originally submitting the notification.

  • Notifying member will consider the comments received and ideally hold discussions with the BSJ.

  • The notifying member may decide to change the content of the measure, postpone its entry into force or even withdraw the measure

  • Once the notified measures have been adopted, WTO Members shall ensure that the requirements are made readily available.

Ask Yourself

Do the requirements comply with international standards? Are the requirements trade restrictive - i.e. stricter than the international standards or stricter than necessary to meet the legitimate objectives of the protection of human health or safety, protection of animal or plant life or health, protection of the environment or the prevention of deception practices? Are the requirements scientifically justified?

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Bureau of Standards Jamaica
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Tel: (876) 618-1534, (876) 632-4275

Email: info@bsj.org.jm