Overview of the SPS Agreement

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					Developing veterinary legislation
       in a WTO context

OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation
      7-9 December 2010 (Djerba, Tunisia)



                      Melvin Spreij
                       Counsellor
         Agriculture and Commodities Division
Location: Geneva,
       Switzerland

Established:
        1 January 1995

Membership:
     153 countries

Budget: 185m Swiss
 francs, 2008

Secretariat staff: ~650

Head: Pascal Lamy
 (Director-general)




                          2
WTO Members 2010
     (153)




                   3
Functions


            • Negotiate trade
              rules
            • Implement trade
              agreements
            • Resolve trade
              disputes
            • Review national
              trade policies

                            4
The basic principles

• No discrimination
   – Most favoured nation principle (MFN)
   – National treatment principle
• Predictability
   – Respect of tariff “bindings” (goods and services)
   – Transparency (notification, TPR)
• Freer trade   (suppression of barriers through negotiations)
   – Tariff reductions
   – Prohibition of using quantitative restrictions (quotas)

                                                                 5
Relevant WTO Agreements
•   General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
    (GATT) – basic principles
•   Agreement on the Application of Sanitary
    and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS
    Agreement)

    Member states must respect obligations
    under WTO agreements when developing
    veterinary legislation


                                               6
      Objective of the SPS Agreement?




recognizing
right to protect            avoiding
human, animal,              unnecessary
plant life or               barriers to trade
health

                                           7
SPS Measures
Definition - Annex A
A measure taken to protect:
Human or              risks arising from additives,
              from
animal health         contaminants, toxins or disease
                      organisms in food, drink, feedstuff
Human life     from   plant- or animal-carried diseases

Animal or             pests, diseases, disease-causing
               from
plant life            organisms

Territory of   from   other damage caused by entry,
Member                establishment or spread of pests
                                                         8
  SPS Measures - Examples
  Definition - Annex A
   A measure taken to protect:
   Human or              risks arising from additives,
                 from
   animal health         contaminants, toxins or disease
                         organisms in food, drink, feedstuff



limits on               limits on             HACCP to
residues                aflatoxin             limit risks
in fish &               residues              from
shellfish               in nuts               salmonella

                                                            9
 SPS Measures - Examples
 Definition - Annex A
  A measure taken to protect:

Human life     from   plant- or animal-carried diseases


                                  BSE-related restrictions
requirement that
susceptible animals
be vaccinated
against rabies



                                                          10
 SPS Measures - Examples
 Definition - Annex A
  A measure taken to protect:
 Animal or           pests, diseases, disease-causing
                from
 plant life          organisms




measure to                      measure to
prevent                         prevent
introduction                    introduction
of FMD                          of fruit flies


                                                        11
 SPS Measures - Examples
 Definition - Annex A
  A measure taken to protect:
 Territory of   from   other damage caused by entry,
 Member                establishment or spread of pests


measure to                           seed
prevent                              regulation
introduction                         to avoid
of zebra mussels                     introduction
through ballast                      of exotic
water of ships                       weeds

                                                      12
SPS measures include all relevant laws,
decrees, regulations, requirements and
procedures, including inter alia:
product criteria
quarantine treatments
production and processing requirements
certification and approval procedures
inspection
testing


                                          13
  Key provisions of the SPS
         Agreement
1. Non-discrimination
2. Scientific justification
   • harmonization
   • risk assessment
   • consistency
   • least trade-restrictiveness
3. Equivalence
4. Regionalization
5. Control, inspection and approval procedures
6. Transparency

                                                 14
Scientific Justification
Article 2.2

               based on scientific principles
 Members
   shall       applied only to the extent
  ensure       necessary to protect human,
 that any      animal or plant life or health
   SPS
 measure       not maintained without
    is:        sufficient scientific evidence

              except as provided for in Article 5.7

                                                15
Scientific Justification
Articles 3 & 5
Measures must be based on

                               Risk assessment

                          OR




International standards




                                                 16
  Harmonization
  Article 3, Annex A

                    Standard-setting
                      organizations


food safety          animal health                plant health
 CODEX                    OIE                        IPPC


     Codex = Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission
     OIE = World Organization for Animal Health
     IPPC = International Plant Protection Convention (FAO)

                                                              17
Risk assessment
Members shall ensure that their SPS measures are
based on:
 – an assessment, as appropriate, of the risks to
   human, animal or plant life or health,
 – taking into account risk assessment techniques
   developed by the relevant international
   organizations

 Definitions in Annex A:
 • Food/beverage/feed borne risk
 • Disease or pest risk



                                                    18
Risk assessment - exception
Provisional measures, Article 5.7

Members may provisionally adopt SPS measures
  when relevant scientific information is insufficient
  on the basis of available information
In such circumstances, Members shall
  seeks to obtain additional information to assess risk
  review the measure within a reasonable period of
   time




                                                           19
Consistency
Article 5.5

Members shall
avoid arbitrary distinctions

        in appropriate level of SPS
        protection (ALOP) considered in
        different situations

               if distinctions result in discrimination or
               disguised restrictions on trade




                                                         20
Least trade-restrictive –
Article 5.6

•   SPS measures not to be more trade
    restrictive than required to achieve
    the appropriate level of protection

•   Alternative measure...
    –   reasonably available
    –   technically and economically feasible
    –   significantly less trade restrictive




                                                21
 Equivalence
 Article 4
If the exporting Member objectively
demonstrates that its measures achieve the
ALOP of the importing country


      Members shall

                              accept SPS measures of
                                   other Members as
                                          equivalent
    SPS Committee
    Guidelines
    (G/SPS/19/Rev.2)
                                                       22
Regionalization
Article 6
• Adapt SPS measures to characteristics of area (all or part
  of a country, all or parts of several countries) taking into
  account
       • prevalence of diseases or pests
       • existence of eradication or control programmes
       • criteria/guidelines developed by OIE, IPPC
• Recognize concept of pest- or disease-free areas
• Exporters=>proof

 SPS Committee guidelines (G/SPS/48)


                                                           23
 Control, Inspection and Approval
 Procedures - Article 8 and Annex C

• No undue delays
• Information requirements: limited to what
  is necessary
• No less favourable treatment for imports:
   – Fees – no discrimination, only to cover
     costs
• Procedure to review complaints


                                               24
  Transparency
  Article 7 & Annex B
                                       establish an Enquiry Point
 Members shall                                    AND
                                  designate a Notification Authority


notify other Members of new or changed
          SPS regulations when




    no international standard exists        regulation may
                  OR                   AND have significant
    the new regulation is different        effect on trade
    than the international standard

                                                                25
When to notify?
                                When modifications are
 Regular measures                   still possible
                                     (draft text)

             Allow 60 day comment period!!




Provisional measures               IMMEDIATELY!!



                                                     26
The SPS Committee
3 regular meetings per year – Geneva

• Implementation of SPS
  Agreement
• Reviews compliance
• Potential trade impacts
• Co-operation with
  technical organizations

  Codex, OIE and IPPC
  have observer status

                                       27
Conclusions:
• Veterinary legislation should facilitate
  implementation of provisions of the SPS
  Agreement and application of relevant
  guidelines developed by the Committee
• New or changed legislation should be notified
  to the WTO Secretariat in a draft stage
• Countries are encouraged to participate
  actively in the work of the ISSBs and SPS
  Committee



                                                  28
Where to find SPS information?

• SPS gateway: http://www.wto.org/sps


• SPS Information Management System (SPS-IMS):
  http://spsims.wto.org/



• http://www.wto.org/           “Docs-on-line”



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