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World Trade Organization Agreement On Sanitary And Phytosanitary Measures

OBT measures could cover anything from vehicle safety to the shape of food cartons to energy-efficient appliances. To cite some examples of human health, OBT measures could include pharmaceutical restrictions or cigarette labelling. Most measures related to the fight against human diseases fall under the OBT agreement, unless they involve diseases transmitted by plants or animals (for example. B rabies). With regard to foodstuffs, labelling requirements, nutritional claims and concerns, quality and packaging rules are generally not considered sanitary or plant health measures and are therefore generally subject to the OBT agreement. Within the WTO, a special committee has been set up as a forum for the exchange of information between Member State governments on all aspects of the implementation of the SPS agreement. The SPS Committee verifies compliance with the agreement, examines issues that may have an impact on trade, and maintains close cooperation with the technical organizations involved. In a trade dispute over a health or plant health measure, the usual WTO dispute resolution procedures are applied and opinions can be sought from appropriate scientific experts. Some commentators criticize the WTO`s assumption that trade liberalization improves consumer welfare has resulted in the SPS agreement being ill-equipped to deal with trade restrictions imposed by governments that respond to consumer protectionist pressures. [19] This is most clear from the beef hormone dispute, where European consumers, while stressing the relative safety of the growth hormones involved, urged governments to ban the importation of hormone-treated beef. [20] While Article 1.5 TBT excludes the inclusion of SPS measures from its Astil, the panel acknowledged in EC-Biotech that situations may arise in which a measure is only a partial SPS measure and, in these cases, the SPS part of the measure is taken into account under the SPS agreement. [12] Where a measure under Article 2.4 of the SPS Convention is the case of the SPS, the measure is considered to fall within the scope of the GATT, Article XX, point b).

2. The committee encourages and facilitates ad hoc consultations or negotiations between members on specific health or plant health issues. The Committee encourages the use of international standards, guidelines or recommendations by all members and encourages consultations and technical studies to strengthen coordination and integration between international and national systems and approaches for authorizing the use of food additives or setting tolerances for contaminants in food, beverages or feed. Who benefits from the implementation of the SPS agreement? Is the agreement in the interest of developing countries? In adopting the WTO agreement, governments have agreed to be bound by the rules of all multilateral trade agreements attached to it, including the SPS agreement. In the event of a trade dispute, WTOs dispute resolution 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.