World recommendations made by two international bodies.

World Trade Organization ü It is an organization for trade opening.

ü It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements.

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ü It is a place for them to settle trade disputes.

ü It operates a system of trade rules.

Essentially, the WTO is
a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face
with each other.

•  
The World Trade Organization (WTO)
considers

the standards set and
recommendations made by two international bodies.

•  
WTO agreements, those that are relevant
to agricultural products including livestock sector, dairying and animal
products are:

•  
Agreement on Agriculture (AOA)

•  
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS)
Agreement

•  
Technical Barriers to Trade(TBT)
agreement

Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)

·      
Sanitary
and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are measures to protect humans, animals, and
plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants.

·      
Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures
are quarantine and biosecurity measures.

•  
Sanitary measures – Human and Animal health

•  
Phytosanitary measures – Plant protection

•   All
countries maintain measures to ensure that food is safe for consumers, and to
prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants.

•   These
sanitary and phytosanitary measures can take many forms, such as requiring
products to come from a disease-free area, inspection of products, specific
treatment or processing of products, setting allowable maximum levels of
pesticide residues or limiting the permitted use of additives in food.

•   Sanitary
and phytosanitary measures, by  their
very nature, may result in restrictions on  trade. All governments accept the fact that  some trade restrictions may be necessary  to ensure food safety and animal and plant  health protection.

•   Measures
should be based on the analysis and assessment of  objective scientific data.

•  
 These measures
are governed by the World Trade Organization’s  (WTO)

 

 SPS measures typically deal with:

ü Additives
in food or drink

 

ü Contaminants
in food or drink

ü Poisonous
substances in food or drink

 

ü Residues
of veterinary drugs or pesticides in food or drink

 

 

ü Certification:
food safety, animal or plant Health

 

ü Processing
methods with implications for food safety

 

 

ü Labelling
requirements directly related to food safety

 

ü Plant/animal
quarantine

 

 

ü Declaring
areas free from pests or disease

 

ü Preventing
disease or pests spreading to a country.

 

 

ü Other
sanitary requirements for imports (e.g. imported pallets used to transport
animals)

 

Agreement on the
Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary  Measures (the SPS agreement)

•   Its Committee of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS
committee).

•   The
Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (“the SPS
Agreement”) sets out the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant
health requirements.

 

The SPS agreement

•  
The SPS agreement provides a framework
of rules to guide WTO members in the development, adoption and enforcement of
sanitary (human or animal life or health) and phytosanitary (plant life or
health) measures which may affect trade.

•  
All WTO members are required to meet and
uphold the principles and obligations of the SPS agreement.

•  
Each WTO member is entitled to maintain
a level of protection it considers appropriate to protect human, animal or
plant life or health within its territory.

•  
This is called the appropriate level of
protection (ALOP).

•  
The right to adopt SPS measures is
accompanied by obligations aimed at minimising negative impacts of SPS measures
on international tra?de.

•  
The basic obligations are that SPS measures
must:

•  
Be applied only to the extent necessary to protect
human, animal or plant life or health and not be more trade restrictive
than necessary

•  
Be based on scientific principles and
not maintained without sufficient scientific evidence.

•  
Not constitute arbitrary or unjustifiable
treatment or a disguised restriction on international trade.

The SPS committee

•  
The SPS committee oversees the
implementation of the SPS agreement and provides a forum for discussion on
animal and plant health and food safety measures affecting trade.

•  
The SPS Committee meets three times a year
at the WTO headquarters in Geneva.

•  
It provides a forum for all WTO members to
discuss the implementation of the SPS agreement, including sharing their
experiences, raising concerns about other members’ activities and developing
further guidance on implementing the SPS agreement.

SPS Agreement recognizes…..

The Codex standards, guidelines and
recommendations relating to:

•  
Food additives

•  
Veterinary Drug
and Pesticide residues

•  
Contaminants

•  
Methods of
analysis and sampling

•  
Codes and
Guidelines

USE OF  INTERNATIONAL STANDARD SETTING BODIES

•  
The SPS Agreement encourages WTO members to
harmonise their measures by basing SPS measures on agreed international
standards.

•  
These international standards are developed
by organisations referred to as the ‘three sisters’.

They are the:

•  
International Plant
Protection Convention? (IPPC)

•  
World Organisation for
Animal Health (Office International des Epizooties,
OIE)

•  
Codex Alimentarius
Commission (Codex)

              Linkages between Codex and SPS
Agreement

The SPS Agreement
states:

·      
Food safety measures necessary to protect
public health should conform to Codex standards.

·      
National regulations consistent with Codex
standards are presumed to meet the requirenments of the SPS Agreement.

·      
Member countries should base their food
safety standards on the standards of the Codex Alimenterius Commission.

Codex is the reference
point for

ü Standards pertaining to food safety

ü Harmonizing national food safety standards

All measures with
SPS purpose including:

•  
End Product criteria

•  
Quarantine measures

•  
Risk assessment methods

•  
Processing requirements

•  
Inspection

•  
Sampling & Testing

•  
Health-related labeling

•  
Certification

KEY PROVISIONS OF
THE SPS AGREEMENT  DISCRIMINATION:

•  
Scientific
justification

•  
Transparency

•  
Harmonization

•  
Risk assessment

•  
Equivalence

•  
Technical assistance/special
Treatment Control, inspection and approval procedures

•  
 Consistency

NON DISCRIMINATION:         

•  
Measures should not arbitrarily or
unjustifiably discriminate, where identical or similar conditions prevail.

There are three
different fields of activities:

v Publishing regulations,

v Notifications,

v Information.

Transparency

•   The SPS
Agreement makes sanitary and phytosanitary measures more transparent.

 

•   Governments
are required to notify each other, through the WTO Secretariat, of any new or
changed sanitary and phytosanitary requirements which affect trade.

 

 

•   To enhance transparency, WTO members must establish official contact
points for communicating about SPS measures.

 

·        
These contact points are known as the National Notification Authority
(NNA), which sends out SPS notifications, and the National Enquiry Point
(NEP), which responds to enquiries about SPS measures.

 

 

·        
By systematically communicating information and exchanging
experiences, WTO member  governments can
improve their national standards.       

 

•   The
increased transparency also protects consumers and trading partners alike from
protectionism hidden in unnecessary technical requirements.

 

•   This
information is now readily available in a comprehensive online database, the
SPS Information Management System (http://spsims.wto.org).

 

Harmonization

The SPS
Agreement encourages  governments to
apply national SPS measures that are consistent with international standards,
guidelines and recommendations. This process is often called “harmonization”.

 

Risk assessment:

•  
The evaluation of the likelihood of entry, establishment or spread of
a pest or disease within the territory of an importing country according to
association with potential biological or economic consequences

•  
The evaluation of the potential for adverse effects on human or
animal health arising from the presence of additives, contaminants, toxins or
disease-causing organisms in food, beverages or feedstuffs.

Eqvivalance

•   An
acceptable level of risk can often be achieved in alternative ways.

 

•   Among the
alternatives — and on the assumption that they are technically and economically
feasible and provide the same level of food safety or animal and plant health
protection — governments should select those that do not restrict trade more
than necessary to meet their health objective.

 

 

•   If
another country can show that the measures it applies provide the same level of
health protection, these should be accepted as equivalent.

 

Technical assistance
            

•  
Aim is to adjust to & comply with SPS
measures to comply with SPS requirements of importing country & expand
market access opportunities

•  
Technical assistance to developing
countries

•  
The SPS agreement contains provisions for
members to provide technical assistance to other countries, particularly
developing countries.

•  
To implement SPS measures consistent with
international standards and the expectations of trading partners.

DISPUTE  SETTLEMENT:

•  
The WTO provides a legally binding dispute
settlement system to ensure that members meet their obligations.

•  
Other WTO members can challenge SPS
measu?res because the measures do not comply with the importing country’s
obligations under the SPS agreement.

Highlights of the
Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 

Various central
Acts like

ü Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 ,

ü Fruit Products Order , 1955,

ü Meat Food Products Order , 1973,

ü Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947,

ü Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order 1988,

ü Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order,
1967,

ü Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc will be repealed after
commencement of FSS Act, 2006.

 

REFERENCES

•  
SPS – WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION.

•  
FSSAI,2006

 

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