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SANITARY & PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES: WORKSHOP, GENEVA, 18-22 OCTOBER 2010

Workshop on the transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement

The Secretariat of the World Trade Organization organized a special workshop on the transparency provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop began on Monday, 18 October and continued on Friday, 22 October 2010. The SPS Committee’s informal and regular meetings was held on 19-21 October 2010.

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See also:
More on sanitary and phytosanitary measures
Members’ transparency toolkit

STDF website

SPS Information Management System


The objective of the workshop was to enhance the implementation and benefits of the transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement, in particular by sharing experiences on how to operate an effective SPS National Notification Authority and Enquiry Point.

The 2010 workshop programme was prepared taking into account the past two transparency workshops held in 2003 and 2007, the Committee’s discussions on this topic, as well as specific inputs from Members. The first day of the workshop (Monday, 18 October) provided for an overview of transparency issues and allow for exchange of national experiences in the plenary and during break-out sessions. The second day of the workshop (Friday, 22 October) was more hands-on with practical exercises on notifications.
  

Report on the workshop

Programme  back to top

Monday, 18 October 2010

10.00 - 10.15

Opening remarks

Flavio Soares Damico, Chairperson, SPS Committee
 

10.15 - 10.45

Session I: Introduction

Speakers: Gretchen Stanton, Serra Ayral and Pablo Jenkins, WTO Secretariat

  • Overview of transparency provisions in the SPS Agreement and of relevant Committee/Ministerial Decisions
    Presentation
  • Presentation of Members’ level of implementation of transparency provisions and decisions (G/SPS/GEN/804/Rev.3)
    Presentation
  • Indication of existing WTO reference materials/tools, including the SPS IMS

10.45 - 12.45

Session II: Sharing of national experiences in the plenary
 

10.45 - 10.55

Why notify? What are the benefits of notifications? What are the costs when notifications are not forthcoming?

Speaker: Paul Vitolovich, Manager, SPS Section, Trade and Market Access Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, Australia
Presentation   

10.55 - 11.05

How to facilitate and regularize the preparation of notifications?

Speaker: Andrea Spencer, Coordinator, Enquiry Point, Standards Council of Canada
Presentation
Handout

11.05 - 11.15

How to best take advantage of incoming notifications?

Speaker: Fabián Sáez, Unidad de Relaciones Internacionales, Servicio Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria, Argentina
Presentation

11.15 - 11.25

How to raise awareness at the national level? How to develop a website on notifications?

Speaker: Verónica Bustamante Estrada, Dirección de Administración de Tratados Comerciales, Ministerio de Economía, El Salvador
Presentation

11.25 - 11.40

Questions/comments on presentations
  

11.40 - 11.50

How to devise an effective technical assistance project to improve the functioning of Enquiry Points/Notification Authorities?

Speaker: Alhousseynou Moctar Hanne, Head of Plant Quarantine and SPS Enquiry Point, Ministry of Agriculture, Senegal
Presentation

11.50 - 12.10

How to maximize benefits from a bilateral technical assistance project?

Speakers: Sally Jennings, SPS Contact Point, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, New Zealand and Dr. Ibraheem A. AL Sheddy, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Saudi Arabia
Presentation

12.10 - 12.20

STDF update on initiatives to improve coordination at the national level

Speaker: Melvin Spreij, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) Secretariat
Presentation

12.20 - 12.50

Questions/comments on presentations
  

12.50 - 13.00

Setting the stage for the break-out sessions of the afternoon

Speaker: WTO Secretariat
  

 

  

15.00 - 18.00

Session III: What actions could improve the implementation and benefits of SPS transparency provisions?
  
  

15.00 - 17.00

Breakout sessions with four groups (two in English, one in French, and one in Spanish). Participants proposed recommendations for action in light of the topics covered in the morning based on a list of questions to be used by the facilitators of each group.

Facilitators: WTO Secretariat
  

17.00 - 18.00

Reporting on breakout sessions by rapporteurs in the plenary followed by general discussion
  

  

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

14.00 - 14.45

Presentation on the FAO International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH)

Speaker: Judith Crews, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  

  

Tuesday, 19 October

15.00 - 18.00

Informal meetings of the SPS Committee
  

Wednesday, 20 October

10.00 - 18.00

Regular meetings of the SPS Committee
  

Thursday, 21 October

10.00 - 18.00

Regular meetings of the SPS Committee
  

 

Friday, 22 October 2010

10.00 - 11.30

Session IV: Practical session on how to prepare notifications

Facilitators: Serra Ayral, Pablo Jenkins, Iffet Kayili-Lejeune, and Galina Davis-Konandreas, WTO Secretariat; Sally Jennings, New Zealand Contact Point

  • What should be notified and when?
  • Who should notify?
  • What format should be used?
  • Who could be consulted with questions during preparations?
  • To whom should notifications be sent?
  • How does the new on-line submission facility work? (presentation and exercise)
    Presentation

11.45 - 13.00

Session V: Practical session on how to track incoming notifications

Facilitators: Serra Ayral, Pablo Jenkins and Iffet Kayili-Lejeune, WTO Secretariat; Sally Jennings, New Zealand Contact Point

  • Who could/should track incoming notifications?
  • How could notifications of interest be identified and shared with stakeholders?
  • How could comments on incoming notifications be collected and shared with notifying Member?
  • How does the SPS IMS work? (presentation and exercise)
    Presentation 1
    Presentation 2

 

  

15.00 - 16.00

Session V: Practical session on how to track incoming notifications — continued

Facilitators: Serra Ayral, Pablo Jenkins and Iffet Kayili-Lejeune, WTO Secretariat; Sally Jennings, New Zealand Contact Point

  • Group exercise with sample notification

16.00 - 17.00

Session VI: Identification of follow-up actions and evaluation of workshop

Facilitators: Serra Ayral, Pablo Jenkins and Iffet Kayili-Lejeune, WTO Secretariat; Sally Jennings, New Zealand Contact Point
  

 

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