Manufacturers and exporters need to know what are the latest standards for their markets looking for a future. In order to ensure that this information is made available, all WTO member governments are required to establish national investigative bodies and to keep each other informed through the WTO – some 900 new or amended regulations are notified each year. The OBT Committee is the main clearing house for members who can exchange information and the main forum to discuss concerns about regulations and their implementation. 5. If no international standard exists: Where there is a directive or recommendation or the content of a draft health or plant health protection regulation is not fundamentally identical to the content of a standard, and that the settlement can have a significant impact on other members` trade, members of the Tokyo Multilateral Trade Negotiations Round (1974-1979) will be negotiated on an agreement on technical barriers to trade (the agreement OTC of 1979 or the « code » (see note 2). Although not originally designed to regulate sanitary and plant health measures, the agreement covered technical requirements arising from food safety and plant health and plant health measures, including pesticide residue limits, inspection requirements and labelling. Governments that were members of the 1979 OBT agreement agreed to apply relevant international standards (for example. B those developed by the Food Safety Code), unless they felt that these standards would not adequately protect health. They also agreed to inform other governments, through the GATT secretariat, of technical regulations that are not based on international standards. The 1979 TBT agreement contained provisions for the settlement of commercial disputes arising from the application of food security and other technical restrictions. 4. The committee develops a procedure to monitor the international harmonization process and apply international standards, guidelines or recommendations.
To this end, the Committee should draw up, in cooperation with the relevant international organizations, a list of international standards, guidelines or recommendations on health or plant health measures, which the Committee considers to have a significant impact on trade. The list should include members indicating those international standards, guidelines or recommendations that they apply as import conditions or which may have access to their markets for imported products on the basis of these standards. In cases where a member does not apply an international standard, directive or recommendation as a precondition for importation, the member should give an indication, particularly if he or she feels that the standard is not strict enough to ensure an appropriate level of health or plant health protection. If a member changes his position after the indication of the use of a standard, guidance or recommendation as a precondition for importation, he should provide a declaration of amendment and thus inform the secretariat and the relevant international organizations, unless such communication and explanation is made in accordance with the procedures set out in Schedule B. 2. The Committee encourages and facilitates ad hoc consultations or negotiations among members on specific health or plant health issues. The Committee encourages the use of international standards, guidelines or recommendations by all members and encourages consultations and technical studies to strengthen coordination and integration between international and national systems and approaches for authorizing the use of food additives or setting tolerances for contaminants in food, beverages or feed.