The Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement
Article 12.7 of the SPS Agreement provides that “[T]he Committee shall review the operation and implementation of this Agreement three years after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, and thereafter as the need arises.” As part of the review, the Committee could also prepare proposals for the amendment of the Agreement, and submit them to the Council for Trade in Goods.
During the review exercise of 1998/99, Members emphasized that the SPS Agreement was a framework of rules which had contributed to improving international trading relationships with respect to SPS measures, although a few implementation problems remained. The Committee welcomed the fact that numerous trade-related matters had been resolved after their discussion at SPS meetings and/or bilateral consultations.
Members examined the experience with the implementation of the Agreement, focussing on transparency, including the notification procedures; special and differential treatment of developing countries; technical assistance; international harmonization; equivalence; adaptation to regional conditions; risk assessment and dispute resolution. The Committee revised the recommended notification procedures, including the notification formats.
The report of the tree-year review is contained in G/SPS/12