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Key Information

How can I get an “early warning” on changes to the requirements of my target market?

There are several ways to stay informed of proposed changes to the market access (e.g. technical regulations) and market acceptance (e.g. private sector standards) requirements for the U.S.

Early Warning for Market Access Requirements

Market access includes governmental technical regulations and the conformity assessment measures that the government requires to demonstrate compliance with these technical regulations. If a product fails to meet a market access requirement, it could be denied access to the U.S., or the manufacturer could be fined, imprisoned or face other penalties imposed by the government.

An excellent resource for early warning on proposed changes to the market access requirements for the U.S. (as well as for those of other WTO members) are World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) notifications. The WTO calls members to notify the WTO Secretariat of any proposed changes to federal- and state-level technical regulations that could significantly affect trade prior to implementation. This can help exporters to quickly and efficiently stay apprised of changes.

U.S. entities can sign up for a free, customizable web-based service that informs users of proposed changes to technical regulations within their industry sectors and countries of interest, provides full text of the proposed regulations, and offers a mechanism for users to submit comments in response to the proposed regulations. The “Notify U.S.” service is provided by the National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI), an organization within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

. Sign up for Notify U.S. (U.S. interests only)

. Sign up for WTO/TBT Notifications from the WTO (Free for everyone)

In the U.S., the Federal Register and the Unified Agenda can provide even earlier access to information on proposed changes. The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules and notices of U.S. federal agencies and organizations, as well as the executive orders and other presidential documents. The Unified Agenda (also known as the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda) is published twice a year (usually in April and October) in the Federal Register

. Access the Federal Register.

. Access the Unified Agenda.

Early Warning for Market Acceptance Requirements

Market acceptance includes the private sector standards and conformity assessment measures that U.S. retailers and consumers expect products to meet above and beyond market access requirements. Failure to meet relevant private sector standards could result in lawsuits, product recalls, or the unwillingness of U.S. consumers and retailers to distribute, buy, or sell a product or service. The best resource for keeping track of changes to private sector standards and conformity assessment measures is Standards Action, a free weekly ANSI publication that contains information on proposed and revised standards, draft American National Standards (ANS), governmental and other foreign standards, and conformity assessment activities.

. Access ANSI’s Standards Action.

Another way to stay abreast of changes is to join a U.S. trade association. Most trade associations in the U.S. welcome participation from around the world.

. Search for U.S. trade associations by industry sector.

How can I ensure that my company’s perspectives are heard and considered in the development of U.S. requirements and policies that could affect my business?  next

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