WTO’s SPS Agreement


10:31 AM

1 min read
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India and the US informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that they have reached a mutually agreed solution on the outstanding dispute on poultry imports from Washington, thereby resolving all of their seven disputes at the global trade watchdog.

About SPS Agreement:

  • The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) is a treaty of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that came into force with the establishment of the WTO on January 1, 1995.
  • It sets out the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant health standards.

Key Provisions

  • Scientific basis: SPS measures must be based on scientific principles and sufficient evidence, except for provisional measures.
  • Harmonization: Members are encouraged to align SPS measures with international standards set by bodies like Codex Alimentarius, OIE, and IPPC.
  • Equivalence: SPS measures of other countries should be accepted as equivalent if they achieve the same level of protection.
  • Risk assessment: Countries must conduct risk assessments to determine the appropriate level of protection, considering the impacts of pests or diseases.
  • Regionalization: Members should recognize pest- or disease-free areas and areas of low prevalence, even if within a single country or group of countries.
  • Transparency: Countries must notify changes in SPS measures and provide regulatory information through the WTO’s SPS notification system.

Dispute Resolution: These disputes can be taken to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) if consultations fail.

Q1. What is the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body?

The Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) makes decisions on trade disputes between governments that are adjudicated by the Organisation.

Source: Settling trade disputes through ‘litigotiation’