The current procedures for liberalisation of the markets are ruled by the gradual elimination of tariff barriers. In this sense, the considerations related to non-tariff barriers, including technical barriers, gain importance in the analysis on the advantages of promoting foreign trade. Technical barriers, as established on World Trade Organisation, are trade barriers derived from the use of rules or technical regulations which are non-transparent or not based on international standards, or even deriving from adoption of non-transparent procedures of conformity assessment, as well as inspections more restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective.

Recognising the importance of technical barriers for foreign trade, an specific agreement was signed during the Tokyo Round (1973-1979). However, a new agreement entered into force in 1995, due to World Trade Organisation establishment, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). Inmetro was designated as the Brazilian Enquiry Point for TBT Agreement. In Brazil, Inmetro is known as the "Focal Point for Technical Barriers to Trade", a vital source of information for entrepreneurs who wish to be aware of technical requirements which must be accomplished in order to avoid obstacles if they are planning to export.

See also:

Inmetro, the Brazilian TBT/WTO Enquiry Point

"Exporter Alert!"

Mutual Recognition Agreements

Technical Cooperation

Mercosul and the Technical Barriers

Overcoming Barriers