The WTO is the World Trade Organisation, based in Geneva, dating from 1994. Individual countries are members, and the EU, and three ‘customs territories’ of China.
This document gives a useful account of ‘trading on WTO terms’ and ‘WTO rules’ – here.
If a trade deal is not signed with the EU to take effect 1st January 2021, then the UK and the EU will trade with one another on WTO terms, the WTO rules already applying.
In the WTO, countries are free to choose the standards and regulations they adopt, with some conditions. They are encouraged to use internationally recognised standards. Or they can set their own provided they can justify the standards with scientific evidence and risk assessment. The purpose is to ensure the standards are genuine, not arbitrary or an excuse to be protectionist. [extract from the further information below link]
Further information about ‘WTO’ standards and regulations is set out – here.
We (Cardinal Environment) will (for 1st Jan 2021) add the relevant international standards and regulations to the EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists (UK systems).