Secretariat for SPS Issues
The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the "SPS Agreement") entered into force with the establishment of the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995. It concerns the application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations.
I. OBJECTIVES OF THE SPS AGREEMENT
While recognizing the right of Members to adopt sanitary and phytosanitary measures when scientifically justified, the SPS Agreement is intended to ensure that such measures needed to protect the safety of food and animal or plant life or health are not applied in a manner which constitutes arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between Members (where the same conditions prevail) or a disguised restriction to international trade.
2. The role of SPS in food safety and trade
The SPS Agreement of the WTO, therefore, sets the tone for the role of SPS measures for governments to protect human, animal and plant life while ensuring that global trade is not unfairly hurt by these measures. The SPS Agreement forms the core on which SPS measures are introduced by governments to protect human, animal and plant life in their territories.
THE SPS AGREEMENT HAS THE STANDARDS CODE AS ITS PREDECESSOR. THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO AGREEMENTS ARE THAT
1. The Standards Code was a Plurilateral Agreement, with 46 Signatories in 1994, with a Dispute Settlement Mechanism specific to this Agreement, covering TBT and some SPS measures and applicable to all products.
2. The SPS Agreement is a Multilateral Agreement, with 150 parties in 2007 (all WTO Members), a unified Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the DSU, and applying both to products and to related processes and production methods.
SCOPE OF THE SPS AGREEMENT
The SPS Agreement applies to all measures whose purpose is to protect, within the territory of the Member:
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SPS AND TBT AGREEMENT
The SPS and the TBT Agreements are mutually exclusive (Article 1.5 of the TBT Agreement).
II. The objectives and functions of SPS secretariat
APEDA is mandated to promote exports of agricultural and processed foods from India by ensuring that exporters meet the standards. The 10-point "Assigned Functions" of the organization gives it the power to register exporters, ensure they conform to standards while exporting, inspect meat and meat products manufacturing plants, improve packaging and provide training.
III. Scope of work
The SPS secretariat would require a strong technical experts in all areas of India's agricultural and processed food exports from the country. The technical experts should have the ability to study the scientific standards, regulations food laws and also propose changes to standards, regulations & food laws in India so that India can tap new and advanced markets for agricultural exports. The secretariat should have the ability to understand various market access issues that emerge across the globe and identify ways to mitigate any problem that is faced by exporters.
III. Work profile for SPS Secretariat
1. To provide technical support to address SPS Notifications from WTO member countries.
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