Notification of Equivalence

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Although notification of equivalence is not a requirement in the SPS Agreement, in June 2002 the SPS Committee adopted a decision on the subject, the Recommended Procedures for the Notification of Determination of the Recognition of Equivalence of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (G/SPS/7/Rev.2/Add.1).

According to these recommended procedures, when a country has made a determination recognizing an SPS measure of another country as equivalent, it should make a notification of the measures that have been recognized, and of the products affected. When significant changes are made to an existing equivalence arrangement, these should also be notified, including suspension or rescission of such arrangements.

For notification purposes, equivalence is defined to be “the state wherein sanitary or phytosanitary measures applied in an exporting country, though different from the measures applied in an importing country, achieve, as demonstrated by the exporting country and recognized by the importing country, the importing country’s appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection. A determination of the recognition of equivalence may be with respect to a specific measure or measures related to a certain product or categories of products, or on a systems-wide basis.”

Box 7 — Equivalence notification form



1. Member notifying

Government, including the competent authorities of the European Communities, which is making the notification.

Example: Chile

2. Title of the text stating determination of the recognition of equivalence

Title of any formal or informal agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or other document establishing the determination of recognition of equivalence.

Example: “Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health in respect of trade in animals and animal products”

3. Parties involved

Name of the exporting Member or Members whose measure has been determined to be equivalent.

Example: Bolivia and Peru

4. Date of entry into force of the determination of the recognition of equivalence and any associated procedures or regulations

Date from which procedures, regulations or other measures based on the determination of recognition of equivalence took effect.

Example: 21 July 2002

5. Products covered

Use clear definitions to aid understanding of the notification by country officials and translators. Avoid abbreviations.

Example: Cooked and frozen crustaceans, molluscs

Tariff item should be provided, using the Harmonized System, where possible, at least to chapter level.

Example: Frozen/chilled de-boned beef (HS Nos. 0201 30, 0202 30) from the United Kingdom

6. Brief description of the measure(s) recognized to be equivalent

Clearly indicate the nature of the recognition of equivalence, including which measure(s) of the exporting Member have been determined to be equivalent and which elements of the importing Member’s usual requirements are met by these equivalent measures.

Example: The agreement permits imports of certain hard cheese manufactured from unpasteurized milk in accordance with an agreed protocol. The regulation requires that milk and milk products used for cheese production be pasteurized.

7. Further information available from:

The agency or authority from which an interested Member may request further information regarding the specific determination of equivalence being notified. If this is the National Enquiry Point, check the box provided. If available from another body, give its address, fax number and (if available) E-mail address. Provide the world wide web address of the document, if available.


Director: Food Control
Department of Health
Private Bag X828
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel: +(27 12) 312 0185
Fax: +(27 12) 326 4374
E-mail: [email protected]



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