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Achievements

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Main achievements

  • Sensitization of National authorities on SPS matters.
  • 3 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) strengthened in coordinating SPS activities.
  • Common positions on animal health, plant health and food safety reached.
  • Signature of MoU and contract agreement with 7 RECs.
  • Development of science-based arguments on standards in net progress.
  • Increased number of RECs with observer status at ISSOs and WTO-SPS committee.
  • 40 SPS experts and 53 national SPS trainers trained.

WTO SPS Agreement

The agreement on the application of SPS measures specifies the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant health standards.

It aims at:

  • Protecting human and animal life from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease-causing organisms in their food.
  • Protecting human life from plant- or animal-borne diseases.
  • Protecting animal or plant life from pests, diseases or disease-causing organisms.
  • Preventing or limiting damage to a country from the entry, establishment or spread of pests.

Applying standards

Signatories to the agreement are encouraged to use international standards, guidelines and recommendations where they exist. They may apply higher standards justified by science or appropriate risk assessments provided that the approach is consistent and not arbitrary.

Changing standards

Consultations about the impact on trade or about implementation issues are conducted in the SPS Committee which is open to all WTO member states.

New standards and guidelines are developed by the three international organizations, recognized in the SPS agreement as standard-setting organizations. Standards are laid out in international codes such as the Code OIE, Codex Alimentarius and International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. International standards are constantly redefined and improved by countries that are members of these organisations.