TBT Enquiry Point
The German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) is part of the "National TBT Enquiry Point", which answers the questions of companies about technical trade barriers. The TBT Enquiry Point - TBT stands for "Technical Barriers to Trade" – is operated in Germany by the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN), commissioned by the Federal Government. The experts of the DAkkS help with all questions relating to accreditation and conformity evaluation.
When a German company wants to export goods to another country or offer services there, it must observe the technical regulations and conformity evaluation processes which apply there. In spite of numerous internationally valid standards and agreements, significant differences remain between many countries in regard to technical standards and national import regulations. Such so-called non-tariff trade barriers (technical barriers to trade) complicate importing and exporting and make them more expensive and less attractive for companies.
In order to reduce trade barriers, the member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have concluded the "TBT arrangement". An important core element of this agreement is the "national enquiry points", which answer questions about specific technical requirements in their respective countries for companies and other organisations. In Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has commissioned the DIN to assume this task.
DAkkS helps to reduce trade barriers
The TBT Enquiry Point answers questions about technical regulations
When companies have questions regarding technical regulations for products and services in other countries, the German TBT Enquiry Point can help: from the German company that wants to know which technical regulations apply for its machines in Japan to the Chinese importer that wants to sell its sweets in Germany.
The TBT Enquiry Point consults the experts of the DAkkS on questions dealing with the subject of accreditation or conformity evaluation.
- A German company wants to shut down one of its factories and sell it to China. The company asks the TBT Enquiry Point which product certifications are required for export to China and whether the already existing German certifications suffice. The DAkkS can help here and conveys the information required for this special case to the TBT Enquiry Point. From there, the company receives a detailed answer, when necessary including references to the important standards.
- A Brazilian food producer wants to purchase a food additive in Germany. In Brazil, special regulations govern the importing of such substances. Thus, for example, a testing laboratory must verify whether the substance can be used safely in food. The DAkkS can answer the questions whether the relevant testing laboratory is accredited and whether the German test report is recognised in Brazil.
How to contact the TBT Enquiry Point
Are you a German company wanting to export goods or services to a foreign country and do you have product-specific questions relating to the destination country? Would you like information on specific regulations in Germany? Then the TBT Enquiry Point is the right contact partner for you.
- Enquiries are answered exclusively in writing by e-mail.
- Inquiries are free of charge.
Please send your enquiries to: auskunft [at] din [dot] de
The TBT arrangement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been in force since 1995. It provides for the reporting of new technical regulations from member countries to the WTO. There other member countries can access this information and have the possibility to present objections to new regulations. This is intended to prevent new trade barriers from arising. In Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is responsible for the notification; that is the reporting, of new technical regulations to the WTO. In addition to this notification, the establishment of the TBT Enquiry Points is an essential part of the agreement. Organisationally, the TBT Enquiry Point in Germany is supported by the DIN subsidiary DIN Software GmbH.
Further information can be found on the TBT-Auskunftsstelle Deutschland Website.