SPS enquiry point 1

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Information about SPS enquiry point 1
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Published on May 8, 2008

Author: Carolina

Source: authorstream.com

Slide1:  Role of the SPS Enquiry Point As outlined by the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) Slide2:  The SPS Enquiry Point What is the Role of the SPS Enquiry Point? To Facilitate Transparency What is Transparency? Free and unencumbered access to an exchange of information as it related to trade and the application of SPS measures. (SPS measures – Animal/Plant/Human – Health or life i.e. food safety Protection of territory from damage from pests and diseases. The EP must answer all reasonable questions from members and provide relevant documents. Slide3:  Article 7 of the WTO SPS Agreement Transparency ‘Members shall notify changes in their SPS measures and shall provide information in their SPS measures – in accordance with provisions identified – (Annex B of SPS Agreement)’ What does notify mean? WTO members must inform other member countries of changes in SPS measures – usually via the WTO. This is referred to as a Notification. What do you notify? Notify changes in regulations, standards, legislation etc. regarding SPS measures. Notify proposed (new) regulations, standards, legislation etc. regarding SPS measures. Slide4:  Article 7 of the WTO SPS Agreement Transparency When do you notify changes in SPS measures? When an international standard, guideline or recommendation does not exist. When the proposed SPS measure is not the same as that of the international standard, guideline or recommendation. When the regulation may have a significant effect on trade. Slide5:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations There are 3 main aspects: Publication of Regulations Establishment of Enquiry Points Notification procedures Slide6:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations Publication of Regulations ‘Members shall ensure that SPS regulations adopted are published promptly in a manner which enables interested members to become acquainted with them.’ Why is there a need to publish regulations? All SPS regulations adopted are to be made accessible to other interested member countries. (This can be done online) This ensures that trade partners are apprised of all current regulations regarding conditionalites for trade. Slide7:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations Publication of Regulations ‘Members shall allow reasonable interval between the publication of and SPS regulation and its entry onto force – for all exporting members to adopt/adapt products and production methods to the importers requirements.’ What is reasonable interval of time? The time needed to meet importers requirements – of course depends on the nature of the SPS measure – usually about six (6) months. Slide8:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations Enquiry Points Each member shall ensure that one Enquiry Point exists. The Enquiry Point is responsible for providing answers to all reasonable questions from interested parties. The Enquiry Point is responsible for providing relevant documents. Slide9:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations Enquiry Points What are relevant documents? Any SPS regulation adopted or proposed within the country. Any control and inspection procedures, pesticide tolerance, production and quarantine treatment and food additive approval procedures in operation in the country. Risk Assessment procedures, factors taken into consideration as well as determination of appropriate level of SPS protection. Membership in international and regional SPS organizations and systems and, - in bilateral or multilateral agreements and the texts of such agreements and arrangements. Slide10:  Annex B of SPS Agreement Transparency of SPS Regulations Notification Procedures What guidelines should be followed in making notifications? ‘Members must designated a single central government authority as responsible for the publication of notices. (This is referred to as the Notification Authority) Slide11:  What is the responsibility of the Notification Authority? Publish notifications at an early stage so as to enable interested members to become acquainted with the proposal to introduce a particular regulation. Notify other Members through WTO secretariat of the products covered by the regulation and provide objective and rationale of the proposed regulation. Provide upon request – copies of proposed regulation to interested Member countries. Allow reasonable time for Members to make comments in writing, discuss the comments and take the results of the discussions into account. (Some of these activities may also be managed by the Enquiry Point). Slide12:  The SPS Agreement requires that both SPS Enquiry Point and a Notification Authority be established. But what is the difference between them? The SPS Enquiry Point responds to questions and provides relevant documents. Questions on animal and plant health and food safety issues. Documents of SPS regulations, legislation etc. The Notification Authority must notify proposed SPS measures to the WTO. The Notification Authority must be a single central government Authority. In Practice however there is the tendency for the Notification Authority to also retain the role of the Enquiry Point.

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