Who benefits from the implementation of the SPS agreement? Is the agreement in the interest of developing countries? The transparency provisions of the SPS agreement are designed to ensure that measures to protect human, animal and plant health are made known to the public and trading partners. The agreement obliges governments to immediately publish all health and plant health provisions and to present, at the request of another government, the reasons for a specific food or animal or plant safety requirement. 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. If governments are unable to resolve their dispute, they may choose to follow one of the different ways of resolving disputes, including good offices, conciliation, mediation and arbitration. Another government may request the creation of an impartial body of trade experts to hear from all parties to the dispute and make recommendations. While a number of developing countries have excellent food security and veterinary and plant health services, others do not. For these organizations, the requirements of the SPS agreement pose a challenge to improve the health situation of their population, population and crops, which may be difficult for some to meet. As a result of this difficulty, the SPS agreement delayed all requirements, with the exception of transparency requirements (notification and creation of investigative bodies), until 1997 for developing countries and until 2000 for least developed countries.
This means that these countries are not required to scientifically justify their health or plant health requirements before that date. Countries that need more time, for example. B to improve their veterinary services or fulfill specific obligations under the agreement, may ask the SPS Committee to grant them further delays. The WTO secretariat has prepared this text to promote public understanding of the SPS agreement. There are no plans to provide for a legal interpretation of the agreement. Given the diversity of climatic conditions, pests or existing diseases or food safety conditions, it is not always appropriate to impose the same requirements on food, animal or plant products in different countries in terms of plant hygiene and protection. As a result, sanitary and plant health measures sometimes vary depending on the country of origin of the food, animal or plant product concerned. This is taken into account in the SPS agreement.
Governments should also recognize disease-free areas that may not conform to political boundaries and adapt their needs to the products of those regions. However, the agreement examines unjustified discrimination in the application of sanitary and plant health measures, whether for the benefit of domestic producers or foreign suppliers.