Agreement On Application Of Sanitary And Phytosanitary Measures

1The reports of the three reviews are contained in the WTO documents G/SPS/12, G/SPS/36 and G/SPS/53.2. Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) of the World Health Organization for Plant Protection by the Commission on Plant Health Measures of the FAO International Agreement and Animal Health and Zoonoses by the World Organization for Animal Health3 ” Guidelines for the promotion of the practical implementation of Article 5.5,” WTO document G/SPS/15.4 “Decision to implement Article 4 of the agreement on the application of sanitary and plant measures WTO Document G/SPS/19/Rev.2.5`Guidelines for the Promotion of Practical Implementation of Article 6.6 of the Agreement on the Application of Health and Plant Health Measures WTO document G/SPS/48.6The most recent recommendations are being adopted SPS/7/7/Rev.3.7The SPS Information Management System is available at the following address : spsims.wto.org.8See G/SPS/33/Rev.1.9See www.standardsfacility.org.10See G/SPS/W/230, G/SPS/GEN/932/Rev.1 and G/SPS/W/247/Rev.1. Improve human status, animal health and plant health medicine in all members; The transparency provisions of the SPS agreement are designed to ensure that measures to protect human, animal and plant health are made known to the public and trading partners. The agreement obliges governments to immediately publish all health and plant health provisions and to present, at the request of another government, the reasons for a specific food or animal or plant safety requirement. In adopting the WTO agreement, governments have agreed to be bound by the rules of all multilateral trade agreements attached to it, including the SPS agreement. In the event of a trade dispute, WTOs dispute resolution procedures (click here for an introduction, click here for more details) encourage the governments concerned to find a mutually acceptable bilateral solution through formal consultations. If governments are unable to resolve their dispute, they may choose to follow one of the different ways of resolving disputes, including good offices, conciliation, mediation and arbitration. Another government may request the creation of an impartial body of trade experts to hear from all parties to the dispute and make recommendations. The SPS agreement strengthens the transparency of health and plant health measures. Countries should define SPS measures on the basis of an appropriate assessment of the actual risks they present and, upon request, indicate what factors they have considered, the assessment procedures they have followed and the level they deem acceptable.

Although many governments already implement a risk assessment in the area of food security management and animal and plant health, the SPS agreement calls for the broader application of systematic risk assessment between all WTO member governments and for all relevant products. In 2003, the United States challenged a number of EU legislation restricting the importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a dispute known as biotech[11] on the grounds that they were “unjustifiable” and illegal under the SPS agreement. In May 2006, the WTO`s dispute resolution body issued a complex ruling that challenged aspects of the EU GMO regulation, but rejected many of the US claims.

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