UK Statement to WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee

Julian Braithwaite

Thank you Chair,

As set out in document number WT/GC/206, dated 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom ceased to be a Member State of the European Union at 23.00 United Kingdom time on 31 January 2020.

The United Kingdom submitted document G/TBT/N/Add.128 dated 21 February 2020, informing the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee of measures in place to ensure the implementation and administration of the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, following our exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020. In this document, we describe the United Kingdom’s regulatory system, our standardisation and accreditation bodies, and our approach to notification and transparency.

The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed a Withdrawal Agreement which provides for a time-limited transition period during which European Union law, as implemented through the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to apply to and in the United Kingdom. This transition is due to end on 31 December of this year.

The WTO’s transparency provisions, including Article 15.2 of the TBT Agreement, are an essential part of the rules-based multilateral trading system and contribute to making trade smoother and more predictable. After 25 years, notification has perhaps become routine but we should not underestimate its importance to economic operators engaged in international trade, particularly in the regulatory arena. Timely and full notifications are one of the most important responsibilities of WTO Members. The United Kingdom is committed to transparency and our aim in circulating this notification under Article 15.2 is to provide as much information as possible for other Members. In addition, we would be happy to answer any questions related to technical regulations and standards via the United Kingdom Technical Barriers to Trade Enquiry Point

The United Kingdom looks forward to engaging with all World Trade Organization members to take forward the important work of the TBT Committee, in our collective effort towards a more integrated, viable and durable multilateral trading system.

Thank you Chair.

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