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Non-Economic Justification Provisions In The TBT Agreement

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how the TBT Agreement incorporates non-economic objectives. The comparison between the SPS and TBT Agreements reveals that they share many common features, but that there are also some important differences between these two agreements. The scope of the TBT Agreement potentially overlaps with the scope of both GATT and the SPS Agreement since these two agreements in principle apply also to the kinds of measures covered by the TBT Agreement. TBT refers to a non-exhaustive list of legitimate non-economic objectives which can justify the adoption of technical regulations. In contrast to the SPS Agreement, the TBT Agreement does not explicitly reject the possibility that WTO Members address legitimate non-economic objectives situated outside their own jurisdictional boundaries. The rules and obligations of the TBT Agreement apply to discriminatory and non-discriminatory technical regulations. There is no need for a finding of discrimination before justification provisions to come into play.

Keywords: GATT; legitimate non-economic objectives; SPS agreement; TBT agreement; WTO members



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