Wto Sps And Tbt Agreements
All governments of WTO Member States must maintain an en-information point, an office designated to receive and respond to requests for information on sanitary and phytosanitary measures in that country. These applications may include copies of new or existing regulations, information on relevant agreements between two countries, or information on risk assessment decisions. The addresses of the en-information points can be found here. The scope of the two agreements is different. The SPS Convention covers all measures whose purpose is to protect: sanitary and phytosanitary measures may also be imposed only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant health on the basis of scientific information. However, governments can introduce TBT regulations if necessary to achieve a number of objectives, such as national security or the prevention of fraudulent practices. Given that the commitments made by governments under the two agreements are different, it is important to know whether a measure is a sanitary or phytosanitary measure or a measure subject to the TBT Convention. Measures to protect the environment (except as defined above), to protect the interests of consumers or to protect animal welfare are not covered by the SPS Agreement. However, these concerns are addressed by other WTO agreements (e.g. B the TBT Agreement or Article XX of the GATT 1994). With the adoption of the WTO Agreement, governments agreed to be bound by the rules of all related multilateral trade agreements, including the SPS Agreement. In the event of a trade dispute, WTO dispute settlement 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 can choose one of the many means of dispute resolution, including good offices, arbitration, mediation and arbitration.
Alternatively, a government may require that an impartial panel of trade experts be established to deal with all parties to the dispute and make recommendations. The two agreements have common elements, including basic non-discrimination obligations and similar requirements for prior notification of proposed measures and the establishment of information offices (“en-information points”). However, many material rules are different. For example, both agreements promote the application of international standards. However, under the SPS Agreement, the only justification for not requesting such standards for food safety and animal/plant health protection is the scientific arguments arising from an assessment of potential health risks. On the other hand, under the TBT Convention, governments may decide that international standards are not appropriate for other reasons, including fundamental technological problems or geographical factors. 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 pressured to go beyond what is necessary for health protection and to use sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions to protect domestic producers from economic competition. This pressure is likely to increase as other barriers to trade are removed as a result of the Uruguay Round agreements […].