The Article 2 SPS Agreement: Understanding the Basics
The Article 2 SPS Agreement is an international agreement that regulates the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) in trade agreements. SPs are measures taken by governments to protect human, animal, and plant health from risks arising from the importation of animals, plants, and their products.
The WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) establishes a framework for the application of SPS measures in trade agreements. Article 2 of the SPS Agreement outlines the basic principles that govern the application of SPS measures.
The objective of the Article 2 SPS Agreement is to ensure that SPS measures are used in a manner that is consistent with international trade rules and principles. The agreement aims to prevent the misuse of SPS measures as a form of protectionism, which could unfairly restrict trade or discriminate against certain countries.
Under the Article 2 SPS Agreement, SPS measures must be based on scientific evidence and risk assessments. Countries are required to use the least restrictive measures possible to achieve their objectives, and to ensure that their measures do not unjustifiably discriminate against foreign products.
The Article 2 SPS Agreement also establishes a number of other principles that govern the application of SPS measures. For example, countries are required to notify other countries of any proposed SPS measures, and to provide them with the opportunity to comment on the measures before they are implemented.
Moreover, countries are also required to establish procedures for the recognition of the SPS measures of other countries. This allows countries to rely on the SPS measures of other countries, without having to conduct their own risk assessments.
In conclusion, the Article 2 SPS Agreement is an important international agreement that ensures the proper application of SPS measures in trade agreements. By establishing clear principles for the use of SPS measures, the agreement helps to promote fair and non-discriminatory trade practices, while also protecting human, animal, and plant health. As such, it is an essential component of the global trade system.