Wto Phytosanitary Agreement

Since sanitary and phytosanitary measures can restrict trade so effectively, the governments of GATT member states were concerned about the need for clear rules for their use. The Uruguay Round objective of having other possible barriers to trade has increased concerns that sanitary and phytosanitary measures could be used for protectionist purposes. The scope of the two agreements is different. The SPS Agreement covers all measures to protect: given that gatt`s provisional focus was on tariff reduction, the framework that preceded the SPS Agreement was not sufficiently equipped to address the problems of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), and the need for an independent agreement to address them has become critical. [4] The SPS Convention is an ambitious attempt to address unconventional barriers resulting from transboundary differences in technical standards without compromising the prerogative of governments to take protective measures against diseases and pests. [5] The Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures builds on previous GATT rules to limit the application of unjustified sanitary and phytosanitary measures for trade protection purposes. The fundamental objective of the SPS Agreement is to defend the sovereign right of each government to ensure the level of health protection it deems appropriate, but to ensure that these sovereign rights are not abused for protectionist purposes and do not lead to unnecessary obstacles to international trade. 2. The Committee shall encourage and facilitate ad hoc consultations or negotiations among Members on specific sanitary or phytosanitary matters. The Committee shall encourage the application of international standards, guidelines or recommendations by all Members and, in this context, shall encourage technical consultations and studies with a view to strengthening coordination and integration between international and national systems and approaches for the authorisation of the use of food additives or for the establishment of tolerances for contaminants in foodstuffs, beverages or animal feed.

3. Members may introduce or maintain sanitary or phytosanitary measures resulting in a higher level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection than would be achieved by measures based on relevant international standards, guidelines or recommendations where there is scientific justification or results of the level of plant health or protection that a Member has in accordance with the opinion that the provisions of Article 5, paragraphs 1 to 8 are appropriate. 2. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any measure resulting in a different level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection than that achieved by measures based on international standards, guidelines or recommendations shall not conflict with other provisions of this Agreement. Due to climatic differences, existing pests or diseases or food safety conditions, it is not always appropriate to apply the same sanitary and phytosanitary requirements to food, animal or plant products from different countries. As a result, sanitary and phytosanitary measures sometimes vary depending on the country of origin of the food, animal or plant product concerned. This is taken into account in the SPS agreement. Governments should also recognize disease-free areas that may not meet political boundaries and appropriately tailor their needs to the products of those areas. However, the agreement addresses unjustified discrimination in the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, whether in favour of domestic producers or foreign suppliers. What are sanitary and phytosanitary measures? Does the SPS agreement cover measures taken by the country to protect the environment? Consumer interests? Animal protection? 4.

The Committee shall draw up a procedure for monitoring the process of international harmonisation and the application of international standards, guidelines or recommendations. .