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New Book: Transparency in the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements (Karttunen)

Marianna B. Karttunen just published “Transparency in the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements – The Real Jewel in the Crown” (Cambridge University Press 2020).


Transparency of trade regulations by all WTO Members is essential for open, fair and predictable trade relations. A myriad of different regulations apply in all WTO Members and have the potential for affecting international trade. The Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade provide the most comprehensive frameworks in the WTO to address the costs arising from such regulatory diversity, through obligations on regulatory transparency and co-operation. This book gives a detailed account of the legal disciplines of the two Agreements, an in-depth presentation of discussions between WTO Members, and an overview of the few cases that end up in formal dispute settlement. It shows that the strength of the WTO legal and institutional system goes well beyond its dispute settlement system, with transparency enabling implementation of WTO obligations through better information sharing and co-operation among Members themselves, through non-judicial means.

  • Provides a combination of legal analysis and empirical research about the SPS and TBT Agreements of the WTO

  • Brings light on an often under-studied aspect of WTO institutional framework, especially by law scholars

  • Draws links between practices of trade and regulatory communities

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