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Developing veterinary legislation in a WTO context OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation 7-9 December 2010 (Djerba, Tunisia) Melvin Spreij Counsellor.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing veterinary legislation in a WTO context OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation 7-9 December 2010 (Djerba, Tunisia) Melvin Spreij Counsellor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing veterinary legislation in a WTO context OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation 7-9 December 2010 (Djerba, Tunisia) Melvin Spreij Counsellor Agriculture and Commodities Division

2 2 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Established: 1 January 1995 Membership: 153 countries Budget: 185m Swiss francs, 2008 Secretariat staff: ~650 Head: Pascal Lamy (Director-general)

3 3 WTO Members 2010 (153)

4 4 Negotiate trade rules Implement trade agreements Resolve trade disputes Review national trade policies Functions

5 5 The basic principles No discrimination –Most favoured nation principle (MFN) –National treatment principle Predictability –Respect of tariff bindings (goods and services) –Transparency (notification, TPR) Freer trade (suppression of barriers through negotiations) –Tariff reductions –Prohibition of using quantitative restrictions (quotas)

6 6 Relevant WTO Agreements General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) – basic principles Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) Member states must respect obligations under WTO agreements when developing veterinary legislation

7 7 recognizing right to protect human, animal, plant life or health avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade Objective of the SPS Agreement?

8 8 SPS Measures Definition - Annex A Human or risks arising from additives, animal health contaminants, toxins or disease organisms in food, drink, feedstuff A measure taken to protect: Human lifeplant- or animal-carried diseases Animal or pests, diseases, disease-causing plant life organisms Territory ofother damage caused by entry, Memberestablishment or spread of pests from

9 9 Human or risks arising from additives, animal health contaminants, toxins or disease organisms in food, drink, feedstuff from SPS Measures - Examples Definition - Annex A A measure taken to protect: limits on residues in fish & shellfish limits on aflatoxin residues in nuts HACCP to limit risks from salmonella

10 10 SPS Measures - Examples Definition - Annex A Human lifeplant- or animal-carried diseases from A measure taken to protect: requirement that susceptible animals be vaccinated against rabies BSE-related restrictions

11 11 SPS Measures - Examples Definition - Annex A A measure taken to protect: Animal or pests, diseases, disease-causing plant life organisms from measure to prevent introduction of FMD measure to prevent introduction of fruit flies

12 12 Territory of other damage caused by entry, Memberestablishment or spread of pests from SPS Measures - Examples Definition - Annex A A measure taken to protect: measure to prevent introduction of zebra mussels through ballast water of ships seed regulation to avoid introduction of exotic weeds

13 13 SPS measures include all relevant laws, decrees, regulations, requirements and procedures, including inter alia: product criteria quarantine treatments production and processing requirements certification and approval procedures inspection testing

14 14 Key provisions of the SPS Agreement 1.Non-discrimination 2.Scientific justification harmonization risk assessment consistency least trade-restrictiveness 3.Equivalence 4.Regionalization 5.Control, inspection and approval procedures 6.Transparency

15 15 Members shall ensure that any SPS measure is : Scientific Justification Article 2.2 applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health based on scientific principles not maintained without sufficient scientific evidence except as provided for in Article 5.7

16 16 Scientific Justification Articles 3 & 5 OR International standards Risk assessment Measures must be based on

17 17 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) Harmonization Article 3, Annex A

18 18 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 Definitions in Annex A: Food/beverage/feed borne risk Disease or pest risk Risk assessment

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 Risk assessment - exception Provisional measures, Article 5.7

20 20 Consistency Article 5.5 Members shall avoid arbitrary distinctions in appropriate level of SPS protection (ALOP) considered in different situations if distinctions result in discrimination or disguised restrictions on trade

21 21 SPS measures not to be more trade restrictive than required to achieve the appropriate level of protection Alternative measure... –reasonably available –technically and economically feasible –significantly less trade restrictive Least trade-restrictive – Article 5.6

22 22 Equivalence Article 4 Members shall accept SPS measures of other Members as equivalent If the exporting Member objectively demonstrates that its measures achieve the ALOP of the importing country SPS Committee Guidelines (G/SPS/19/Rev.2)

23 23 Regionalization Article 6 Adapt SPS measures to characteristics of area (all or part of a country, all or parts of several countries) taking into account prevalence of diseases or pests existence of eradication or control programmes criteria/guidelines developed by OIE, IPPC Recognize concept of pest- or disease-free areas Exporters=>proof SPS Committee guidelines (G/SPS/48)

24 24 Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures - Article 8 and Annex C No undue delays Information requirements: limited to what is necessary No less favourable treatment for imports: –Fees – no discrimination, only to cover costs Procedure to review complaints

25 25 Transparency Article 7 & Annex B 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

26 26 When to notify? Provisional measures IMMEDIATELY!! Regular measures Allow 60 day comment period!! When modifications are still possible (draft text)

27 27 The SPS Committee Implementation of SPS Agreement Reviews compliance Potential trade impacts Co-operation with technical organizations Codex, OIE and IPPC have observer status 3 regular meetings per year – Geneva

28 28 Conclusions: Veterinary legislation should facilitate implementation of provisions of the SPS Agreement and application of relevant guidelines developed by the Committee New or changed legislation should be notified to the WTO Secretariat in a draft stage Countries are encouraged to participate actively in the work of the ISSBs and SPS Committee

29 29 Where to find SPS information? SPS gateway: SPS Information Management System (SPS-IMS): Docs-on-line


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