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SPS Information Management System
Standards and Trade Development Facility
Some of the new elements contained in the 2008 Transparency Procedures
include the following:
Members are encouraged to notify all proposed regulations that are based
on, conform to, or are substantially the same as an international
standard, guideline or recommendation, if they are expected to have a
significant effect on trade of other Members. (see para.8 of
Where domestic regulatory mechanisms allow, the 60-day comment period to
be provided in all regular notifications should begin with the
circulation of the notification by the WTO Secretariat. (see para. 13 of
Various transparency-related decisions and facilities, which up until
now could be consulted under different document symbols, have been
consolidated in the 2008 Transparency Procedures for easier access.
These relate to the interval between the publication and entry into
force of a regulation, the facility to access full texts of notified
regulations, the availability of unofficial translations in the form of
supplements, and the notification of recognition of equivalence (see
para. 60, Annexes C, D, and E of
The notification formats (regular, emergency, addenda, corrigenda) have
been modified to reflect the revised procedures and improve the clarity
of the information provided. Modifications include default checkbox
options for the 60-day comment period as well as the 6-month interval
between the publication and the entry into force of a measure and also
checkbox options to refer to the specific reason for an Addendum.
Please note that as of 1 December, only the new formats will be used to
circulate SPS notifications.
We would also like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention
two other transparency-related developments.
Since mid-2008, the Secretariat has been facilitating a mentoring
mechanism among Enquiry Points and Notification Authorities of different
Members. This procedure is described in document
G/SPS/W/217. The objective of this voluntary procedure is to assist
developing countries in a practical manner not only in fulfilling their
obligations but also in benefiting from their rights arising from the
transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement. The Secretariat has
already facilitated the partnering of 11 developing country Members with
mentors, some of whom are also developing countries.
The Secretariat would like to take this opportunity to launch a
second call for Members interested in the mentoring process to inform
the Secretariat by filling out the relevant form in
G/SPS/W/217 by 30
January. We would in particular urge those interested in providing
mentoring assistance to come forward as we tend to receive more requests
We would also like to inform you that New Zealand, with the assistance
of Australia and the WTO Secretariat, has been preparing a procedural
step-by-step manual for Enquiry Points and Notification Authorities.
This Manual will be available for downloading from WTO's SPS gateway by the
end of the year.
• The complete set
• Emergency notification
Notification of recognition of equivalence
Notification of availability of translations