Recommended Transparency Procedures

New transparency recommendations and formats. To SPS enquiry points and notification authorities: The WTO Secretariat would like to draw your attention to the Committee’s revised Recommended Procedures for Implementing the Transparency Obligations of the SPS Agreement contained in G/SPS/7/Rev.3 (hereafter the “Recommended Transparency Procedures”), which took effect on 1 December 2008.

Some of the new elements contained in the Recommended 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 G/SPS/7/Rev.3)

  • 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 G/SPS/7/Rev.3

  • Various transparency-related decisions and facilities, which up until now could be consulted under different document symbols, have been consolidated in the Recommended 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 G/SPS/7/Rev.3 respectively).

  • 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.