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Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

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Chapter Summary

Before the adoption of the SPS Agreement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, which were not in line with Arts III and XI GATT 1947, were subjected to analysis under Art. XX lit. b and lit. g GATT 1947, providing for a justification without, however, setting up freestanding obligations. With the adoption of the SPS Agreement the drafters sought to preserve the rights of WTO members to set their own standard of protection and to adopt measures for the protection of health and life. Art. 2.1 as a general rule allows members to adopt sanitary or phytosanitary measures in order to protect human, animal or plant life or health. SPS measures need to be adapted to the sanitary and phytosanitary conditions in a given area. Art. 13 takes account of the fact that much SPS standard-setting and implementation is, in particular in developed countries, entrusted to private organizations.

Keywords: GATT; phytosanitary measures; sanitary measures; SPS agreement; WTO members



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