The SPS Committee, like other WTO committees, is open to all WTO Member countries. Governments which have an observer status in higher level WTO bodies (such as the Council for Trade in Goods) are also eligible to be observers in the SPS Committee. Governments may send whom ever they believe appropriate to participate in the meetings of the SPS Committee. Some delegations consist only of Geneva-based representatives, while other Members also include food safety authorities or veterinary or plant health officials from capitals.
The SPS Committee has agreed to invite representatives of several international intergovernmental organizations as observers, including the “three sister organizations” (Codex, OIE, IPPC), WHO, UNCTAD and the International Standards Organization (ISO). In addition, several organizations are invited on an ad hoc basis, for one meeting at a time. These ad hoc observers include the OECD, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and other regional organizations such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
Observers in the SPS Committee (as of April 2002)
I. International Intergovernmental Organizations having observer status on a regular basis
II. International Intergovernmental Organizations having observer status on an ad hoc (meeting-by-meeting) basis