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Technical regulations and product standards may vary from country to country. Having many different regulations and standards makes life difficult for producers and exporters, not least because the compliance costs associated with meeting differing regulations and standards soon add up. If regulations are set arbitrarily, they could be used as an excuse for protectionism.

New Zealand is a Party to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). The TBT Agreement contains obligations which seek to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

As a WTO member, New Zealand is required to operate a national enquiry point to respond to TBT queries. Standards New Zealand operates the Technical Barriers to Trade  on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

WTO member governments are required to notify the WTO of any proposed measures that could constitute a technical barrier to trade. As part of our enquiry point service you are able to search for recently proposed TBT Notifications of measures that may have an impact on New Zealand’s trade in foreign markets.

 TBT Notifications of measures(external link)

Often these notifications make reference to other documents such as draft or actual regulations or standards and, where possible, we have provided links to them. If you wish to obtain a copy of any documents that do not have a link please email wto@standards.govt.nz 

If you consider your trade to the notifying country may be affected by a proposed measure, you should contact the (TBT) Enquiry Point, identifying any significant concerns you may have around the proposed measure before it is finalised. For more information call (0800) 782 632 or email wto@standards.govt.nz

Last updated: 1 March 2021