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Overview of the SPS Agreement

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					Overview of the WTO
and SPS Agreements


         Gretchen H. Stanton
          Senior Counsellor
Agriculture and Commodities Division
Location: Geneva,
      Switzerland

Established:
      1 January 1995

Membership:
    153 countries
    (July 2008)

Budget: 182m Swiss
 francs, 2007

Secretariat staff: ~650

Head: Pascal Lamy
 (director-general)


                       2
WTO Members 2008
     (153)




                   3
What is the WTO?
                   • 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
 The structure

                            Ministerial
                            Conference

                                                 Trade Policy Review Body
Dispute Settlement Body

                          General Council



   Council - Services     Council - Goods                   Council - TRIPS


                                          SPS Committee

                                     Agriculture Committee

                                            TBT Committee



                                                                              6
  Overall, import weighted tariff on
≈ 40%    industrial products




                               > 4%




                                       7
%

              ?



    1947   2007
                  8
Non-tariff measures




                                Trade-related intellectual
                                Property rights
                                                              Technical barriers to trade
                Subsidies




  Quantitative restrictions
                                                                      Sanitary and phytosanitary
                  Government purchase                                 measures
                                                 Trade in
                                                   services

                                                                                            9
Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

 It applies to all goods ....
    – technical regulations (mandatory)
    – standards (voluntary)
    – conformity assessment procedures



               TBT
                                  SPS

      But: its provisions do not apply to sanitary
      or phytosanitary (SPS) measures
                                                     10
          Agreement on the Application of
            Sanitary and Phytosanitary
                     Measures


The right to                      Avoiding
protect                           unnecessary
human, animal                     barriers to trade
or plant life or
health




                                               11
SPS Agreement - Basic Right
Article 2.1


     “Members have the right to take
     sanitary and phytosanitary measures
     necessary for the protection of human,
     animal or plant life or health, provided
     that such measures are not inconsistent
     with the provisions of this Agreement”




                                                12
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

A country       from   other damage caused by entry,
                       establishment or spread of pests
                                                           13
SPS measures:
laws, decrees, regulations… including:
• end product criteria
• processes and production methods
• testing, inspection, certification approval
  procedures, etc.
• quarantine treatments
• animal transport
• packaging and labelling requirements directly
  related to food safety


                                                  14
Key Provisions of the SPS Agreement

1. Non-discrimination
2. Scientific justification
     •   harmonization
     •   risk assessment
     •   consistency
     •   least trade-restrictiveness
3.   Equivalence
4.   Regionalization
5.   Transparency
6.   Technical assistance/special treatment
7.   Control, inspection and approval procedures
                                                   15
Non-discrimination
Article 2.3




No unjustifiable discrimination
   – between Members with similar conditions
   – between own territory and other Members




                                               16
Scientific justification
Article 2.2

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

                except as provided for in Article 5.7

                                                   17
  Scientific Justification
   Articles 3 & 5


Measures must be based on

                               Risk assessment

                          OR




International standards




                                                 18
 Scientific justification
 Harmonization
 Article 3

                     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)

                                                               19
Scientific justification
Risk Assessment
Article 5.1


 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.




                                                      20
Scientific justification
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


                                                               21
Scientific justification
Least trade restrictive
Article 5.6


Once have determined the NEED for
an SPS measure
                           AND
Have determined the LEVEL of protection needed
                       must select
          Least-trade restrictive measure
       (technically and economically feasible)
       to achieve level of health protection
                                                 22
Scientific justification
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



                                                            23
 Equivalence
 Article 4


If the exporting country objectively
demonstrates that its measures achieve the
ALOP of the importing country


        Members shall

                                 accept SPS measures of
                             other Members as equivalent



                                                       24
Pest- or disease-free areas
Article 6 (Regionalization)


  Members shall ensure that their SPS measures
   are adapted o the SPS characteristics of an
                         “area”


all of a country     part of a country   all or parts of
                                         several countries




                                                         25
 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

                                                                      26
Special & Differential Treatment and
Technical Assistance
Articles 9 & 10


Members...
• ...shall take account of the special needs of
  developing countries
• ...should accord longer time frames for
  compliance
• ...agree to facilitate provision of Technical
  Assistance

                                                  27

				
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