The WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement represents the main international instrument in the field of technical regulations. It aims to ensure that regulations, standards and testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. The Agreement provides for a notification procedure, which requires each member of the WTO – including the European Community – to inform other contracting parties of their proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.

Since July 2004, ETRMA has provided substantial input to the European Commission on more than 50 TBT cases. This active cooperation from the early stages of the notification procedure has enabled the establishment of bilateral contacts with Bangkok, Bogota, New Delhi, Jakarta, Seoul, and other capitals. The objective is to avoid any protectionist measures and to better understand the rationale behind the adoption of technical requirements that deviate from international technical regulations. As far as tyres are concerned, ETRMA has made it clear to the authorities that any deviations from international regulations should only be adopted if justified by facts and figures.

ETRMA members fully support the multilateral liberalisation of trade through the ongoing WTO Doha Development Agenda, which it believes is fundamental to improving both the competitiveness of EU industry and market access to third countries.

Indeed, providing new commercial opportunities for our products while contributing the better integration of developing countries into the global economy represent ambitious goals for the build-up of a more equitable global trading system.

Tyre and rubber manufacturers rely on the continuous efforts of the European Commission to improve market access to certain highly protected markets and to contribute to the adoption of WTO rules able to guarantee the enhanced growth and competitiveness of our companies.