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The SPS Committee & Specific Trade Concerns

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The SPS Committee & Specific Trade Concerns

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Rolando Alcala
Agriculture and Commodities Division, WTO

Materials of the workshop on Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO organized by FAO in collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine in Kyiv on June 7, 2017.

http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/wtokiev/en/
http://www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/892730/

Rolando Alcala
Agriculture and Commodities Division, WTO

Materials of the workshop on Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO organized by FAO in collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine in Kyiv on June 7, 2017.

http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/wtokiev/en/
http://www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/892730/

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The SPS Committee & Specific Trade Concerns

  1. 1. THE SPS COMMITTEE & SPECIFIC TRADE CONCERNS Rolando Alcala Agriculture and Commodities Division FAO Workshop on Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO Kiev, Ukraine 7 June 2017
  2. 2. Key Provisions: SPS Agreement ■ Non-discrimination ■ Scientific justification – harmonization – risk assessment – consistency – least trade-restrictiveness ■ Equivalence ■ Regionalization ■ Transparency ■ Technical assistance/special treatment ■ Control, inspection and approval procedures 2
  3. 3. Remember: Conditions under which an SPS Measure can be taken: ■ Restrain trade to protect health ■ Measures based on scientific principles (international standards or risk assessment) ■ Non-discriminatory ■ No disguised restrictions 3
  4. 4. Recall: Scientific justification Articles 3 & 5 ■ SPS Measures must be based on: OR International standards Risk assessment 4
  5. 5. What series of questions should an exporting country ask when experiencing an SPS trade concern with a trading partner? 5
  6. 6. Exports impaired due to a SPS measure Verify if international standards exist Verify if SPS measure is based on the international standard Request explanation of reasons - Art. 5.8 Verify if risk assessment complies with the SPS Agreement Seek ways to solve the problem: bilateral consultations; Specific Trade Concerns; Dispute Settlement; etc. No No Risk assessment exists YES Seek Technical Assistance YES YES Yes No No 6
  7. 7. Ways to address SPS Trade Concerns 1. Preliminary Stage 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 4. Good Offices by the Chair of the SPS Committee 5. WTO Dispute Settlement System 7
  8. 8. 1. Preliminary Stage Article 5.8 – Requesting an explanation When a Member has reason to believe that a specific SPS measure [...] is constraining, or has the potential to constrain, its exports and the measure is not based on the relevant international standards, or such standards do not exist, an explanation of the reasons for such SPS measure may be requested and shall be provided by the Member maintaining the measure. 8
  9. 9. Ways to address SPS Trade Concerns 1. Preliminary Stage 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 4. Good Offices by the Chair of the SPS Committee 5. WTO Dispute Settlement System 9
  10. 10. 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts Suggested Actions: ■ Contact their Enquiry Point for further information, request risk assessment – Article 7 – Annex B, para.3 – List of EPs: SPS IMS (http://spsims.wto.org) ■ Informal discussions on the margins of the SPS Committee Meetings 10
  11. 11. 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts Suggested Actions (cont.): ■ Request information through WTO Representatives in Geneva ■ Request information through your diplomatic representation in the other country ■ Request information from the diplomatic representation of the other country to your country 11
  12. 12. Ways to address SPS Trade Concerns 1. Preliminary Stage 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 4. Good Offices by the Chair of the SPS Committee 5. WTO Dispute Settlement System 12
  13. 13. Ministerial Conference Dispute Settlement Body General Council Council - Services Council - Goods SPS Committee TBT Committee Agriculture Committee Council - TRIPS Trade Policy Review Body 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns WTO: The Structure 13
  14. 14. SPS Committee What does it do? ■ Implementation of SPS Agreement ■ Reviews compliance ■ Potential trade impacts ■ Co-operation with technical organizations 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 14
  15. 15. SPS Committee Who is on it? ■ All 164 WTO Members ■ Observer governments (acceding members) ■ Intergovernmental organizations 2016 Liberia Afghanistan  Tajikistan: 2013  Ukraine: 2008  Armenia :2003  Moldova: 2001  Georgia: 2000  Kyrgyz Republic: 1998 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 15
  16. 16. SPS Committee Meetings 21-23 March 2017 Informal and formal meetings 12-14 July 2017 Informal and formal meetings 1-2 November 2017 Informal and formal meetings 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 16
  17. 17. SPS Committee Meetings Typical agenda items ■ Activities of Members ■ Specific trade concerns ■ Implementation of the Agreement – Equivalence – Pest- or disease-free areas – Transparency – Special and differential treatment – Monitoring use of international standards – Review of SPS Agreement ■ Cross-cutting issues ■ Technical assistance ■ Private standards ■ Observers ■ … Other business 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 17
  18. 18. What is a Specific Trade Concern? A specific trade complaint raised by Members in the SPS Committee in relation to SPS measures maintained by other Member(s). (whether draft measures or measures currently in force) 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 18
  19. 19. 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns Suggested Actions: ■ Consult previous STCs (G/SPS/GEN204/Rev.# and addenda) ■ Communicate intention to raise an STC for inclusion in Committee Meeting Agenda (WT/L/161, G/L/170 and G/SPS/1) – At least 11 calendar days before the meeting – In writing – Inform the other Member concerned ■ Seek support from other interested Members ■ Present the STC at the SPS Committee Meeting 19
  20. 20. 2. Specific Trade Concerns 1995-2016 416 Total Source: G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.17 20
  21. 21. Source: G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.17. SPS Information Management System (http://spsims.wto.org) 2. Specific Trade Concerns 1995-2016 21
  22. 22. Source: G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.17 2. Specific Trade Concerns 1995-2016 22
  23. 23. 2. Specific Trade Concerns Reported as resolved (1995-2016) 23 Source: G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.17, SPS Information Management System (http://spsims.wto.org)
  24. 24. STCs & Participating Countries
  25. 25. Members Raising STC Supporting STC Maintaining Measure Armenia - - - Georgia - - - Kyrgyz Republic - - - Moldova - - - Tajikistan - - - Ukraine 3 - 2 STCs & Participating Countries 25
  26. 26. STC NUMBER TITLE MEMBER CONCERNED MEMBERS SUPPORTING THE CONCERN MEMBERS MAINTAINING FIRST DATE RAISED STATUS 206 Inspection and testing procedures for imported wheat Canada - Greece, European Union 03/2005 Resolved STCs on commodities of interest to the region Wheat 26
  27. 27. Canada - Wheat Measure - Greek inspection and testing requirements for imports of grains from third countries. Discussions ■ Canada alleged a lack of scientific rationale ■ Bilateral contacts between Greece and Canadian Authorities ■ Canada raised the issue again in Oct 2008, February 2009 and June 2009 as unresolved ■ Resolved in March 2011. Testing requirements reduced to 5%. 27
  28. 28. Potatoes STC NUMBER TITLE MEMBER CONCERNED MEMBERS SUPPORTING THE CONCERN MEMBERS MAINTAINING FIRST DATE RAISED STATUS 181 Import restrictions on potatoes New Zealand - Chinese Taipei 10/2003 Resolved 28
  29. 29. New Zealand - Potatoes Measure – Market access for potato exports to Chinese Taipei Discussions ■ New Zealand had responded to requests from Chinese Taipei for information in relation to pests ■ A pest risk assessment was completed in July 2002 ■ Chinese Taipei and New Zealand reported a draft of Quarantine requirements notified in January 2005 29
  30. 30. Meat Products - Poultry ITEM NUMBER TITLE MEMBER CONCERNED MEMBERS SUPPORTING THE CONCERN MEMBERS MAINTAINING FIRST DATE RAISED STATUS 311 Restrictions on poultry and poultry products Chile United States of America Albania, Croatia 10/2010 Resolved 315 Ukraine import restrictions on poultry and poultry products Mexico - Ukraine 03/2011 Not reported 30
  31. 31. Chile - Poultry Measure - Albanian and Croatian restriction on import of poultry products from Chile Discussions - Chile noted there was no scientific evidence for claim of A1/H1N1 virus - Croatia noted that measures based on an OIE warning The restrictions were lifted in March 2011 31
  32. 32. Mexico - Poultry Measure - Ukrainian emergency notification regarding the reappearance of Newcastle Disease Discussions ■ Mexico requested Ukraine to apply the concept of regionalisation ■ Ukraine indicated that its measure was taken based on information from the OIE. Principle of regionalisation not relevant. ■ OIE differentiated between Newcastle Disease-freedom and FMD freedom and would help resolve the concern through its mediation mechanism 32
  33. 33. Ways to address SPS Trade Concerns 1. Preliminary Stage 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 4. Good Offices by the Chair of the SPS Committee 5. WTO Dispute Settlement System 33
  34. 34. 4. Good Offices - Chair of the SPS Committee Article 12.2 “The Committee shall encourage and facilitate ad hoc consultations or negotiations among Members on specific sanitary or phytosanitary issues. [...]” Procedure adopted in the SPS Committee G/SPS/61 34
  35. 35. Ways to address SPS Trade Concerns 1. Preliminary Stage 2. Bilateral and/or Regional Efforts 3. SPS Committee – Specific Trade Concerns 4. Good Offices by the Chair of the SPS Committee 5. WTO Dispute Settlement System 35
  36. 36. Any other way to address SPS- related trade concerns? 36
  37. 37. Additional resources G/SPS/W/279/Rev.2 - Catalogue of instruments available to WTO Members to manage SPS issues (Joint submission from Canada and Kenya) ■ Not an adopted recommendation or guideline ■ Sets out tools available to manage SPS issues: ■ Within the WTO SPS Agreement ■ WTO SPS Committee Agenda ■ Within WTO System ■ Beyond WTO System 37
  38. 38. WTO Request clarification from Enquiry Point Bilateral consultations Raised in SPS Committee WTO Dispute(s) (not raised formally) Ways to address STCs 15 Disputes (with Panel reports) ≈ 16,000 SPS notifications 421 “STCs” Good Offices of the Chair 38
  39. 39. SPS: General Issues in implementation ■ Lack of awareness ■ Inappropriate legislation (or no existing legislation) ■ Capacity limitations ■ Failure to use international standards ■ Undue delays – in risk assessment, approval decisions, etc. ■ Over-reactions in emergency situations ■ Political pressures – hazard-based measures 39
  40. 40. SPS-RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44 http://www.ePingAlert.org
  45. 45. 45 New SPS IMS (http://spsims.wto.org/)
  46. 46. 46 New SPS IMS: New graphing reports
  47. 47. THANK YOU! rolando.alcala@wto.org SPS gateway http://www.wto.org/sps

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