Table of Contents

    The free movement of goods and services is one of the main objectives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    New national technical regulations may create obstacles to the free movement of goods and services.

    In order to prevent unjustified barriers to trade between States, and to promote transparency, a notification procedure has been introduced.


    Each country must notify its draft regulations to the WTO Secretariat before they are adopted, when:

    • these are mandatory technical regulations which have a significant effect on the trade of other States;
    • the technical regulations differ from the relevant international standards;
    • there are no relevant international standards relating to the products concerned.

    The FPS Economy centralises these notifications for Belgium.

    Examination of the drafts

    The Commission and the Member States of the WTO may, within a period of two months, examine the drafts and make comments on the obstacles to free movement.

    The European Commission has created a database of these notifications.


    An EU Member State may, within 60 calendar days, notify the European Commission of any comments it wishes to make on a draft notified by a third country.

    After close consultation, the Commission forwards those comments to that third country.

    If this country fails to respond, the Commission forwards the comments to the Technical Barriers to Trade Committee.

    If the disagreement persists, a Member State may, in close consultation with the European Commission, request that the problem be referred to the competent body of the WTO.

    Last update
    23 January 2024