WTO-SPS Committee considers next steps for Fall Armyworm and the involvement of International Standard Setting Bodies

Posted on جمعة, 12 إبريل 2019, 13:08

Fall Armyworm @FAO/Anne-Sophie Poisot

22 March 2019, Geneva - The World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee (WTO-SPS) met to review specific trade concerns and reports, the outcomes of their thematic session on Fall Armyworm (FAW) and the fifth review of the operation and implementation of the SPS Agreement.

Some SPS members expressed interest in using the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020 to highlight the FAW problem. They learned that the IPPC Secretariat helps prevent the spread of FAW, while other FAO divisions are more involved in managing infestations. SPS members were encouraged to inform the IPPC Secretariat of intercepts of FAW in trade as few official reports exist.

This fifth review suggests that International Standard Setting Bodies (ISSB) have a special role to play. Indeed this is part of the SPS Agreement. ISSBs could be requested to play a bigger role in reviewing specific trade concerns through their standards, and adapt them to regional conditions (“regionalization”) as indicated in the SPS agreement.

These recommendations will be reviewed at the SPS Committee meeting in July 2019. The IPPC Secretariat, as one of the ISSBs, will have to carefully consider the impact on resources of this request and review FAO’s previous decision on the IPPC Secretariat’s involvement with “regionalization”.

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