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Technical barriers to trade

Participation in the global market requires adherence to international standards wherever possible.

The World Trade Organization Treaty on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT) requires that Members shall use international standards, or the relevant parts of them, as a basis for their technical regulations where possible.

Development of national standards may be required when international or regional standards are not applicable, need modification, or if there are no existing or related standards.

Under the Treaty, WTO members must ensure that  technical regulations "are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to, or with the effect of, creating unnecessary obstacles to trade" (Article 2.2).

The WTO TBT includes Annex 3, The Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards. All signatories to the Code, including Standards Australia, are required to use international standards as a basis for their national standards wherever this is effective and appropriate.