Akin Gump Trade Practice Authors Pen WTO “Technical Regulation” Article for Law360

Law360 has published an article by Akin Gump international trade associate Emily Fuller, partner Stephen Kho, senior counsel Alan Yanovich and associate Sally Laing on the implications of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body’s (AB) new strict interpretation of “technical regulation” under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (“TBT agreement”).

The authors discuss the AB’s interpretation in the matter of “European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products,” examining the background of this case, which involved Canada and Norway as co-complainants regarding EC limitations on the importation of seal products.  They also trace “technical regulation” analysis in prior cases and analyze why the AB may have abstained from reviewing whether the measure, which it adjudged did not qualify as a “technical regulation” because it did not “lay down product characteristics,” could nevertheless qualify as a “related process or production method.”

The authors note that, although it is rare for the WTO panel and AB to find that a measure does not qualify as a “technical regulation,” this case “puts future WTO complainants on notice that this threshold question for consideration under the TBT agreement may have new life, and that—going forward—a thorough analysis is needed on each portion of the ‘technical regulation’ definitional criteria.”

To read the full article, please click here.