3. Citizens of the parties to the dispute cannot be heard by a group of technical experts without the common agreement of the parties to the dispute, unless the panel considers that the need for scientific expertise cannot be met by other means. Government officials of the parties to the dispute are not allowed to sit in a panel of technical experts. Members of technical expert groups perform their individual duties and are not representatives of the government or representatives of an organization. Governments or organizations therefore do not instruct them on the issues in front of a group of technical experts. Although the TBT agreement applies to a wide range of industrial and agricultural products, health and plant health measures and procurement specifications are subject to separate agreements. The rules of the OBT agreement help distinguish between legitimate standards and technical rules and protectionist measures. Standards, technical rules and compliance assessment procedures must be developed and applied on a non-discriminatory basis, developed and applied in a transparent manner and, where appropriate, based on relevant international standards and guidelines. 6.3 Members are encouraged to be willing, at the request of other members, to enter into negotiations for mutual recognition agreements on the results of mutual compliance assessment procedures. Members may require these agreements to meet the criteria set out in paragraph 1 and to satisfy each other`s opportunities to facilitate trade in the products concerned.
Introduction to WTO rules on technical barriers to trade and understanding of the OTC agreement 10.7 When a member has reached an agreement with another country or country on issues relating to technical regulations, standards or compliance assessment procedures that could have a significant impact on trade, at least one member of the agreement informs other members of the , through the secretariat, food products covered by the agreement, and a brief description of the agreement.