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Saturday, June 23, 2018


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How to Use the Notify U.S. Web Site

This website was designed to be compliant with all Section 508 guidelines under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you experience a problem using this website, please call 301-975-2918 or email: notifyus@nist.gov.


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Notify U.S. Features

The Notify U.S. public main page provides overview information about the Notify U.S. website, ownership identification, and general system information available to all visitors. The main page also:

  • Provides the system Sign-In function for current users:  A valid Sign-In protocol is the user’s email address and recognized password.
  • Provides a link for new users to initiate access to Notify U.S.:  "Register"
  • Provides a link for current users who have forgotten their passwords to contact Notify U.S.:  "Forgot Password?"
  • Provides links for other topics of interest: What’s New, General Information, and Resources

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After Sign In to Notify U.S.

The Notify U.S. user main page provides a customized area for each user to track information of specific interest to that user.

  • My Profile
  • Update
  • What’s New
  • General Information
  • Resources
  • Home
  • My Pending Requests
  • My Request History
  • WTO Member Countries
  • ICS Codes
  • Help
  • My New Notifications

  This page contains all new WTO TBT notifications that match your countries of interest and fields of interest since you signed on to Notify U.S. the last time. The first table lists notifications for which full texts are available immediately (online). Click on the "Full text" link and access the document. The second table lists notifications for which full texts must be requested. This means that these full texts are not yet available in electronic form for your access. Click in the select box next to the notifications for which you want to request a full text. You will be able to access the full text as soon as Inquiry Point staff receive it from the issuing country and post it on the Web site.


  Notifications will remain in your customized page "My New Notifications" for the past 30 days. On the first day of each month, your customized page will be refreshed with the new month’s information. Previous months information is still available to you on the page "My Request History."


  Please note that from this page you may also view any new notification corrigenda that have been issued. Corrigenda can be:

  • Addendum (Add.)
  • Correction (Corr.)
  • Revision (Rev.)
  • Correction to Addendum (Add./Corr.).

  Correction types can be:

  • correction to the notification
  • correction to the full text
  • correction with a new full text issued.

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Information on PDF Files and the Adobe Acrobat Reader

Certain files available for download from the Notify U.S. web site are in Portable Document Format (PDF).  PDF files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Adobe also provides free PDF tools for the visually impaired.

What Are PDF Files?

Adobe Acrobat PDF Portable Document Format (PDF) is a computer file format, developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., that allows authors to exchange documents among different computer systems, while preserving the documents' typography and page layout.


How do I Get Started?

To read or print a file in PDF format, you must install on your computer the Acrobat Reader program, published by Adobe Systems, Inc. Acrobat Reader is free, and there are no restrictions on its copying or distribution.  Acrobat Reader works as a standalone application, or as a plug-in within Netscape Navigator or MS Internet Explorer.

For detailed, up-to-date information about Acrobat Reader or the PDF format, visit Adobe Systems Inc. at www.adobe.com.


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What is an HS Code?

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System is generally referred to as the "Harmonized System" or simply "HS."


It is a multi-purpose international product nomenclature hierarchy developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels, Belgium. It comprises about 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six-digit code, arranged in a legal and logical structure, and supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification.


The HS system is used by more than 177 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics.  Over 98 % of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS codes.


In the United States, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS)is based upon the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).


The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) maintains and publishes the HTS (in print and on-line) pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.


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What is an ICS Code?

The International Classification for Standards (ICS) is a structure used in catalogues of international, regional, and national standards and other normative documents. It is used as a basis for standing-order systems for international, regional, and national standards. It may also be used for classifying standards and normative documents in databases, libraries, etc.


Use of the ICS codes facilitates the harmonization of information and ordering tools such as catalogues, selective lists, bibliographies, and databases on magnetic and optical media, thus promoting the world-wide dissemination of international, regional, and national standards and other normative documents.


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What do the "Article Numbers" Mean?

Article numbers refer to specific sections of the "Articles" of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. Generally, article numbers specify the conditions under which the WTO TBT notification is made.


Notifications Under Articles 2.9.2 and 2.10.1

Read the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.


Article 2

Article 2 of the Agreement addresses "Preparation, Adoption and Application of Technical Regulations by Central Government Bodies."

Article 2.9.2 provides for routine notifications and Article 2.10.1 provides for urgent notifications:

  • 2.9 Whenever a relevant international standard does not exist or the technical content of a proposed technical regulation is not in accordance with the technical content of relevant international standards, and if the technical regulation may have a significant effect on trade of other Members, Members shall:
    • 2.9.2 notify other Members through the Secretariat of the products to be covered by the proposed technical regulation, together with a brief indication of its objective and rationale. Such notifications shall take place at an early appropriate stage, when amendments can still be introduced and comments taken into account;
  • 2.10 Subject to the provisions in the lead-in to paragraph (2.)9, where urgent problems of safety, health, environmental protection or national security arise or threaten to arise for a Member, that Member may omit such of the steps enumerated in paragraph 9 as it finds necessary, provided that the Member, upon adoption of a technical regulation, shall:
    • 2.10.1 notify immediately other Members through the Secretariat of the particular technical regulation and the products covered, with a brief indication of the objective and the rationale of the technical regulation, including the nature of the urgent problems;

Article 3

Article 3 of the Agreement addresses "Preparation, Adoption and Application of Technical Regulations by Local Government Bodies and Non-Governmental Bodies."

Article 3.2 provides for notifications to be made in accordance with Articles 2.9.2 and 2.10.1, except the notifications concern technical regulations issued at the government level directly below the central government.

  • 3.2 Members shall ensure that the technical regulations of local governments on the level directly below that of the central government in Members are notified in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 9.2 and 10.1 of Article 2, noting that notification shall not be required for technical regulations the technical content of which is substantially the same as that of previously notified technical regulations of central government bodies of the Member concerned.

Article 5

Article 5 of the Agreement addresses "Procedures for Assessment of Conformity by Central Government Bodies."

Article 5.6.2 provides for routine notifications and Article 5.7.1 provides for urgent notifications:

  • 5.6 Whenever a relevant guide or recommendation issued by an international standardizing body does not exist or the technical content of a proposed conformity assessment procedure is not in accordance with relevant guides and recommendations issued by international standardizing bodies, and if the conformity assessment procedure may have a significant effect on trade of other Members, Members shall:
    • 5.6.2 notify other Members through the Secretariat of the products to be covered by the proposed conformity assessment procedure, together with a brief indication of its objective and rationale. Such notifications shall take place at an early appropriate stage, when amendments can still be introduced and comments taken into account;
  • 5.7 Subject to the provisions in the lead-in to paragraph (5.)6, where urgent problems of safety, health, environmental protection or national security arise or threaten to arise for a Member, that Member may omit such of the steps enumerated in paragraph (5.)6 as it finds necessary, provided that the Member, upon adoption of the procedure, shall:
    • 5.7.1 notify immediately other Members through the Secretariat of the particular procedure and the products covered, with a brief indication of the objective and the rationale of the procedure, including the nature of the urgent problems;

Article 7

Article 7 of the Agreement addresses "Procedures for Assessment of Conformity by Local Government Bodies."

  • 7.2 Members shall ensure that the conformity assessment procedures of local governments on the level directly below that of the central government in Members are notified in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 6.2 and 7.1 of Article 5, noting that notifications shall not be required for conformity assessment procedures the technical content of which is substantially the same as that of previously notified conformity assessment procedures of central government bodies of the Members concerned.

Article 8

Article 8 of the Agreement addresses "Procedures for Assessment of Conformity by Non-Governmental Bodies."

  • 8.1 Members shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to them to ensure that non-governmental bodies within their territories which operate conformity assessment procedures comply with the provisions of Articles 5 and 6, with the exception of the obligation to notify proposed conformity assessment procedures. In addition, Members shall not take measures which have the effect of, directly or indirectly, requiring or encouraging such bodies to act in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 5 and 6.

Article 9

Article 9 of the Agreement addresses "International and Regional Systems."

  • 9.2 Members shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to them to ensure that international and regional systems for conformity assessment in which relevant bodies within their territories are members or participants comply with the provisions of Articles 5 and 6. In addition, Members shall not take any measures which have the effect of, directly or indirectly, requiring or encouraging such systems to act in a manner inconsistent with any of the provisions of Articles 5 and 6.

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What are "legitimate objectives and rationales" for notification to WTO?

Generally, these are defined as:

  • Members shall ensure that technical regulations are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to or with the effect of creating unnecessary obstacles to international trade. For this purpose, technical regulations shall not be more trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective, taking account of the risks non-fulfilment would create. Such legitimate objectives are, inter alia national security requirements; the prevention of deceptive practices; protection of human health or safety, animal or plant life or health, or the environment. In assessing such risks, relevant elements of consideration are, inter alia available scientific and technical information, related processing technology or intended end-uses of products.

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How long will I have to wait to read a full text of a proposed regulation?

Your waiting time for access to the full text could vary greatly.


No wait …

Some WTO countries post the full texts of proposed regulations on the Internet as soon as the regulations are notified to the WTO Central Registry of Notifications (CRN). In that case, the full texts are available online immediately at the Notify U.S. website. Users can access those texts from their customized Notify U.S. web page: "My New Notifications."


Short wait …

Some countries provide electronic copy of their full texts to the U.S. Inquiry Point. E-document arrival time from these countries can vary from a few hours to a few weeks. In that case, the full texts will be available online at the Notify U.S. website for user access as soon as the Inquiry Point staff can post them. Typically, Inquiry Point staff post a file on the same business day as it is received from the WTO Member country.


Not so short …

Some countries provide printed copy of their full texts to the U.S. Inquiry Point. Document arrival time from these countries can vary from a few days to weeks. In that case, the full texts will be available online at the Notify U.S. website for user access as soon as Inquiry Point staff can scan them and post them. Typically, Inquiry Point staff scan and post a file on the same business day as it is received from the WTO Member country.


Hard to predict …

In some cases, Inquiry Point staff is not able to obtain a copy of the full text of a proposed regulation from the WTO Member country. In this case, the Notify U.S. website will keep you current on the status of our request for the text.


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What is the difference between a standard and a technical regulation?

The WTO defines a Technical Regulation as:

  • a mandatory requirement for a product, its processing, or its production method (may include packaging, marking, and labeling requirements).

The WTO defines a Standard as:

  • a document approved by a recognized body
  • that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products or related processes and production methods
  • and with which compliance is voluntary.

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What is Conformity Assessment?

The WTO defines Conformity Assessment as:

  • any procedure used, directly or indirectly, to determine that relevant requirements in technical regulations or standards are fulfilled.

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How is the U.S. Standards Development System Different From Other Countries?

What is an SDO?

An SDO is a "standards developing organization."  Read more ..


What is ANSI?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization (501(c)3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The Institute's mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.  Read more ..


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Where can I read the WTO TBT Agreement?

The WTO TBT Agreement is online at: www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/17-tbt_e.htm.


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