What Is the Sps Agreement

Posted on April 17, 2022 · Posted in Uncategorized

Sanitary and phytosanitary measures can naturally lead to trade restrictions. All governments accept that certain trade restrictions may be necessary to ensure food safety and the protection of animal and plant health. However, governments are sometimes under pressure to go beyond what is necessary to protect health and use sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions to protect domestic producers from economic competition. This pressure is likely to increase as other trade barriers are removed as a result of the Uruguay Round agreements. A sanitary or phytosanitary restriction, which is not really necessary for health reasons, can be a very effective protectionist means and, because of its technical complexity, be a particularly misleading obstacle and difficult to complain about. The study encourages the need to intensify bilateral, regional and multilateral discussions, noting that unilateral measures taken by countries without the support of “international standards, multilateral agreements or rigorous risk assessment” are both “economically harmful” and generate “skepticism” towards other measures where precaution could really be justified. The ongoing negotiations between the US and the EU would establish a free trade area within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).39 However, given the large regulatory differences and non-tariff barriers between the US and the EU, particularly with regard to SPS issues, some expressed concern about whether TTIP would be able to: address these concerns. or whether the agreement could exclude agricultural products altogether.40 Some members of Congress expect the TTIP negotiations to resolve long-standing trade disputes over SPS rules between the two trading blocs and improve disciplines to address SPS issues and other non-tariff barriers to trade.41 The main concerns relate to the methods of production and processing of meat and poultry, especially the use of beef hormones. and ractopamine in the United States. 42 Reduction of pathogens and other treatment technologies, BSE rules and other rules for plant processing. Other DPC concerns between the US and the EU relate to the use of biotechnology (genetically modified organisms or GMOs)43 and pesticide regulation.

Measures to protect the environment (except in the cases defined above), to protect the interests of consumers or animal welfare are not covered by the SPS Convention. However, these concerns are addressed by other WTO Agreements (i.e. the TBT Agreement or Article XX of the GATT 1994). The U.S. Congress has held a series of hearings to discuss the ongoing FTA negotiations, and some of them have focused on regulatory issues such as SPS and TBT. For example, at a House Subcommittee on Trade in Ways and Means hearing on TTIP in May 2013, President Devin Nunes said that any agreement must be “ambitious and comprehensive” and should “identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers, including sanitary and phytosanitary barriers for the United States. Agricultural exports. 149 A hearing on TTIP in July 2013 by the Sub-Committee on Trade, Manufacturing and Trade of the House Committee on Energy and Trade examined existing regulatory barriers and the need for “greater openness, transparency and convergence in regulatory approaches and standards while reducing unnecessarily redundant requirements”. 150 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA) entered into force on January 1, 1994 and contains both SPS and TBT provisions that are almost as extensive as those contained in the SPS and TBT agreements.23 WTO, “Standards and Safety,” www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm4_e.htm#TRS. No, the SPS Convention allows countries to prioritize food safety, animal and plant health over trade, provided there is a demonstrable scientific basis for their food safety and health requirements. Each country has the right to determine the level of food safety and animal and plant health it deems appropriate on the basis of a risk assessment.

Harmonization: (Article 3) In order to facilitate trade, countries are encouraged (but not obliged) to apply relevant international standards and to work towards harmonization, i.e. the adoption of common SPS measures. To promote harmonization, the agreement cites sources of scientific expertise and globally recognized standards, including the Codex Alimentarius Commission on Food Safety; World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for Animal Health and Animal Diseases; and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for plant health. Although a number of developing countries have excellent food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary services, others do not. For them, the requirements of the SPS Convention pose a challenge to improving the health situation of their people, livestock and crops, which can be difficult for some to meet. Because of this difficulty, the SPS Agreement postponed all requirements, with the exception of transparency (notification and establishment of enquiry points), until 1997 for developing countries and until 2000 for least developed countries. This means that these countries are not required to provide a scientific justification of their sanitary or phytosanitary needs before that date. Countries that need longer lead times,. B for example to improve their veterinary services or to implement specific obligations under the Agreement, may request the SPS Committee to grant them further time limits. .