Agreement Sanitary And Phytosanitary Measures

Trade in SPS-type products has the potential to generate significant economic benefits for national economies. [13] However, in order to foster economic concerns on other important public health policy issues, a thorough review by governments and the international community is needed. [14] All governments of WTO member states must have an investigative body, an office to receive and respond to requests for information on the health and plant health measures of these countries. These requests may be copies of new or existing regulations, information on relevant agreements between two countries, or information on risk assessment decisions. The addresses of the application points can be found here. One of the provisions of the SPS agreement is the obligation for members to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to developing countries, either through relevant international organizations or at the bilateral level. FAO, OIE and WHO have implemented important food, animal and plant security assistance programmes to developing countries. A number of countries also have important bilateral programmes with other WTO members in these areas. The WTO secretariat has organised a programme of regional seminars to provide developing countries (and Central and Eastern European countries) with detailed information on the rights and obligations conferred on them by this agreement. These seminars are organized in collaboration with Codex, OIE and IPPC to ensure that governments are aware of the role these organizations can play in helping countries meet their needs and to take full advantage of the benefits of the SPS agreement. The seminars are open to the participation of private professional associations and consumer organisations. The WTO secretariat also provides technical assistance through national workshops and governments through their representatives in Geneva. Back to head The agreement on the application of health and plant health measures is one of the last documents adopted at the end of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

It applies to all health measures (animal-related) and plant health measures (SPS) that may have a direct or indirect effect on international trade. The SPS agreement contains a number of agreements (trade disciplines) on how SPS measures are defined and applied by countries when they establish, revise or enforce their national laws and regulations. Countries agree to base their SPS standards on science and, to guide their actions, the agreement encourages countries to use the standards set by international standards bodies. The SPS agreement is intended to ensure that SPS measures do not arbitrarily or unfairly discriminate against trade with other members or are not used to conceal trade restrictions. In this SPS agreement, countries retain the sovereign right to guarantee the level of health protection they deem appropriate, but agree that this right is not hijacked for protectionist purposes and that there are no unnecessary trade barriers. The application of SPS measures is subject to a rule of equivalence and not equality. The SPS agreement was intended to fill this potential gap. It establishes clearer and more detailed rights and obligations on food security and measures for animal and plant health that affect trade. Countries are allowed to set only the requirements necessary for health protection and based on scientific principles. A government may challenge other countries on food safety or veterinary and plant health requirements on the grounds that they are not supported by scientific evidence. Procedures and decisions taken by a country to assess the risk to food or animal safety or plant health must be made available to other countries upon request.

Comments are closed.