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Standards and related issues in the WTO Agreement on SPS and TBT

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Ahmad Mukhtar
Economist -Trade and Food Security, FAO Liaison Office Geneva

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/

Published in: Education

Standards and related issues in the WTO Agreement on SPS and TBT

  1. 1. 1 Standards and related issues in the WTO Agreement on SPS and TBT Ahmad Mukhtar [Economist - Trade and Food Security] FAO Liaison Office Geneva, Switzerland June 2017 With due credit to the WTO Secretariat for using their material in this presentation
  2. 2. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1947 GATT Established 1962 Pre-Kennedy Round 1972 Post-Kennedy Round 1987 Post-Tokyo Round 1995 Post-Uruguay Round AVERAGETARIFF,% Overall, import weighted tariff on industrial products 2 ≈ 40% > 4%
  3. 3. Trend… 3 % 20171947 ?
  4. 4. Non-tariff Measures (NTMs) 4 Technical barriers to trade Sanitary and phytosanitary measures Trade in services Government purchase Quantitative restrictions Subsidies Trade-related intellectual Property rights
  5. 5. Difference between.. SPS Measures Human or Animal health from food- borne risks Human health from animal or plant- carried diseases Animal and plants from pests or diseases TBT Measures Human disease control (non-food safety) Nutritional claims Food packaging and quality 5
  6. 6. Difference between SPS and TBT HOWEVER: A regulation/legislation could consist of two components: ◦ One falling under the SPS Agreement ◦ Another falling under the TBT Agreement Example: This regulation defines the quality, safety, packaging and labelling requirements for fresh domestic and imported blackberries for consumption in country X . 6
  7. 7. Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade It applies to all goods .... ◦ technical regulations (mandatory) ◦ standards (voluntary) ◦ conformity assessment procedures 7 TBT SPS But: its provisions do not apply to sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) measures
  8. 8. Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) 8 The right to protect human, animal or plant life or health Avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade
  9. 9. Main 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 9
  10. 10. SPS Measures: Definition - Annex A 10 Human or risks arising from additives, animal health contaminants, toxins or disease organisms in food, drink, feedstuff A measure taken to protect: Human life plant- or animal-carried diseases Animal or pests, diseases, disease-causing plant life organisms A country other damage caused by entry, establishment or spread of pests from from from from
  11. 11. SPS Agreement - Basic Right: Article 2.1 11 “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. 12. Non-discrimination: Article 2.3 No unjustifiable discrimination ◦ between Members with similar conditions ◦ between own territory and other Members 12
  13. 13. Scientific justification: Article 2.2 13 Members shall ensure that any SPS measure is: applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health (least trade restrictive) based on scientific principles not maintained without sufficient scientific evidence except as provided for in Article 5.7
  14. 14. Scientific Justification: Articles 3 & 5 14 Measures must be based on International Standards Risk Assessment
  15. 15. Scientific justification, Harmonization: Article 3 15 Standard-setting organizations food safety CODEX plant health IPPC animal health OIE Codex = Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission OIE = World Organization for Animal Health IPPC = International Plant Protection Convention (FAO)
  16. 16. 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. 16
  17. 17. Scientific justification, Consistency: Article 5.5 Members shall 17 avoid arbitrary distinctions in appropriate level of SPS protection (ALOP) considered in different situations if distinctions result in discrimination or disguised restrictions on trade
  18. 18. 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 18
  19. 19. 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 Scientific justification Exception: Provisional measures Article 5.7
  20. 20. Equivalence Article 4 Members shall 20 accept SPS measures of other Members as equivalent If the exporting country objectively demonstrates that its measures achieve the ALOP of the importing country
  21. 21. Pest- or disease-free areas Article 6 (Regionalization) 21 “area” all of a country part of a country all or parts of several countries WTO DS 475: Russia-Pigs case
  22. 22. Transparency Article 7 & Annex B 22 Members shall establish an Enquiry Point AND designate a Notification Authority notify other Members of new or changed SPS regulations when no international standard exists OR the new regulation is different than the international standard regulation may have significant effect on trade AND
  23. 23. 23 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
  24. 24. Transparency in the SPS Agreement Main Elements OBLIGATIONS 1. Designation of notification authority 2. Establishment of enquiry point 3. Notification of draft regulations 4. Publication of regulations BEYOND OBLIGATIONS Taking advantage of transparency 24 SPS Agreement: Article 7 Annex B G/SPS/7/Rev.3
  25. 25. Allow 60 days comment period ! Notification of draft SPS regulations: When to notify? Regular measures Draft text When modifications are still possible ! Emergency measures IMMEDIATELY !
  26. 26. Cooperation WTO AGCD - FAO Agriculture FAO observer organization Implementation of the NFIDC Decision Data for “Members participation in normal growth of world trade in ag products” document AMIS SPS FAO Observer organization Codex and IPPC STDF Various ad hoc activities incl. training, projects
  27. 27. Questions-Comments ahmad.mukhtar@fao.org Tel: +41-22-9172777 27

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