ePing - A Global Alert System for SPS and TBT Notifications

ePing is an online alert system for notifications submitted by WTO Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). The system was developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – a joint initiative to increase transparency and dialogue on standards and regulations.

Governments establish regulations on product requirements to achieve policy objectives such as the protection of human health or the environment. Producers and importers have to implement these regulations. When a regulation affects international trade, WTO Members notify other Members before adopting it to provide an opportunity for giving comments. Given the high volume of notifications (more than 3500 in 2015), it is a challenge for all interested stakeholders, especially the private sector, to track and react to these SPS and TBT notifications.

The platform

The ePing system enables timely access to notifications covering products and markets of interest and facilitates dialogue amongst the public and private sector in addressing potential trade problems at an early stage. Policy makers, exporters, importers, investors and others can use ePing to track and communicate on relevant product requirements. This is a free service.

A multi-agency collaboration

The collaboration of the three organisation is based on the existing WTO Members' notifications on SPS and TBT measures, DESA’s pilot project which aimed at improving LDC access to new notifications and ITC’s experience and expertise in addressing needs of SMEs in developing countries by creating and maintaining software platforms. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to sustain the system, ensure its dissemination and coordinate capacity development activities.