The WTO and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

Collaboration between WTO and IPPC concerns the use of international plant protection standards in the context of the SPS Agreement.

See also:
> More on SPS

> IPPC website

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The WTO's SPS Agreement states that “to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members shall base their sanitary or phytosanitary measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations”. The Agreement names the IPPC for plant health standards.

> See SPS Agreement Introduction, Article 12.3 and Annex A paragraph 3(a)


FAO International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)  back to top

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is a multilateral treaty for international cooperation in plant protection. The Convention makes provision for the application of measures by governments to protect their plant resources from harmful pests (phytosanitary measures) which may be introduced through international trade. The IPPC is deposited with the Director-General of the FAO and is administered through the IPPC Secretariat located in FAO’s Plant Protection Service. The IPPC was first adopted in 1951 and has been amended twice, most recently in 1997.

The revision of the IPPC agreed in 1997 and which entered into legal force on 2 October 2005 represents an updating of the Convention to reflect contemporary phytosanitary concepts and the role of the IPPC in relation to the Uruguay Round Agreements of the WTO, particularly the SPS Agreement. The SPS Agreement identifies the IPPC as the reference organization developing international standards for plant health (phytosanitary) measures. The standards of IPPC have also proved an important reference point for the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO, e.g. Japan — Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples  DS245.

IPPC work includes standards on pest risk analysis, requirements for the establishment of pest-free areas, and others which give specific guidance on topics related to the SPS Agreement.

The Secretariat of the IPPC is located at the FAO headquarters in Rome.

> For more information, visit the IPPC website at  

WTO Secretariat note: Relationship with Codex, IPPC and OIE  G/SPS/GEN/775