Collaborating to Achieve International Standards Cooperation

Adhering to the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Principles

UL Standards & Engagement
September 21, 2020

Shipping containers at a riverside port

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international, intergovernmental, treaty-based organization that has the responsibility of overseeing the rules that govern trade between nations. Its 164 member countries represent 98% of world trade. The WTO developed the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) to recognize international standards and the impact they have on global trade. UL Standards & Engagement supports the principles of the WTO/TBT agreement and is committed to transparency, openness, consensus and impartiality, effectiveness and relevance, coherence and development dimension in our standards development process. These principles further our mission of working for a safer world through the development of standards guiding the safety, performance and sustainability of products and services worldwide. UL Standards & Engagement has published a position paper to articulate our approach to and support for adherence to the WTO/TBT.

Our standards are developed with scientific input with a variety of stakeholders including those of the global community. As new standards are proposed and developed, a process is adhered to which ensures that the scope of the standard meets a specific global need. This results in robust standards that are accepted and used around the world and that they can be updated regularly to remain current as needs and technology change. Our global staff partners with national and regional standards development organizations to share information and drive effective use of standardization in line with the WTO/TBT.