Posted on Tue, 23 Apr 2013, 22:51
On 26 February 2013, the IPPC Secretariat hosted a formal consultation between South Africa and the European Union under the IPPC Dispute Settlement System (DSS) concerning a phytosanitary trade dispute related to Citrus Black Spot. There is an IPPC obligation that disputing parties consult with one another in an attempt to resolve a dispute before the dispute may be presented to a dispute panel. With the assistance of a facilitator, both parties presented their positions on the dispute during the consultation, offered potential solutions to the dispute, and after several hours of productive discussion, arrived at a way forward. At the close of the meeting, both parties agreed that negotiations on further steps will continue once the results of ongoing scientific analysis, including a public consultation phase, will be known. These results are expected later this year.
This meeting under the IPPC DSS demonstrates the potential value of the procedures available to contracting parties of the IPPC. It also underlines the importance of consistently ensuring that sufficient capacity is maintained in the IPPC Secretariat to deal with all requests without undue delay. This supports previous successes, with informal discussions, under the IPPC DSS to resolve phytosanitary trade disputes before the formal Dispute Settlement Committee needs to be activated. More information on the IPPC Dispute Settlement System can be found at http://www.ippc.int/index.php?id=13412.