SANITARY & PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES: INFORMATION
Members’ transparency toolkit
Transparency is a core principle in the WTO. According to Article 7 of the SPS Agreement, members shall notify changes in their sanitary or phytosanitary measures and shall provide information on their sanitary or phytosanitary measures in accordance with the provisions of Annex B. This page contains all the relevant information for members’ transparency work in SPS.
The following links contain additional relevant information:
- Technical assistance/training: contains information on WTO’s trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) activities aimed at helping developing countries build their trade capacity so that they can participate more effectively in global trade.
- WTO training courses: provides information on technical assistance and training courses within the current biannual plan, designed in line with the Progressive Learning Strategy (PLS), to promote higher levels of learning and ensure the development of participants' autonomy.
- WTO E-Campus: provides access to the WTO E-Learning Technical Assistance program on the Multilateral Trading System.
- Building trade capacity: describes the efforts made by WTO to meet the special needs of developing countries by building “trade capacity” to enable them to trade more effectively and benefit from the multilateral trading system.
The SPS Agreement establishes the following four transparency obligations that must be fulfilled by members:
Source: Practical Manual for SPS National Notification Authorities and SPS National Enquiry Points, 2018.
More detailed information on transparency is available in the SPS Agreement, as well as in the Recommended procedures for implementing the transparency obligations of the SPS Agreement (Article 7).
An annual report of the level of implementation of SPS transparency provisions is available in document series G/SPS/GEN/804.
How to submit SPS notifications – SPS Notification Submission System (SPS NSS)
The most efficient way to submit SPS notifications is through the SPS Notification Submission System (SPS NSS). The SPS NSS is an online, password-protected system that allows members to fill in all types of notification templates, improve national coordination with regulatory agencies, provide more accurate and complete data, prepare notification models to increase efficiency and keep track of all notifications submitted.
Detailed information on how to submit notifications through the SPS NSS is available in the SPS NSS audio guide (in English only).
Credentials and training on the SPS NSS can be requested by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Alternatively, members can also submit notifications by email to the Central Registry of Notifications (CRN) at email@example.com. Further information and the notification templates can be found in the Recommended Transparency Procedure page.
Types of notifications
Members shall notify each other of their sanitary or phytosanitary regulations, using the following templates, depending on the circumstances. The latest versions of all the templates can be filled in through the SPS Notification Submission System (see above, How to submit SPS notifications).
In addition to their original notifications, members can also provide supplementary information in three different forms:
There are other types of notifications that members can submit to provide information on other topics:
Further information on the notifications format and on how to fill in the templates is available in the Recommended procedures for implementing the transparency obligations of the SPS Agreement (Article 7), the Practical Manual for SPS National Notification Authorities and SPS National Enquiry Points, and the Technical cooperation handbook on SPS notification requirements.
National notification authorities (NNA) and national enquiry points (NEP)
In accordance with paragraph 10 of Annex B of the SPS Agreement, members are obliged to designate “a single central government authority” as responsible for the implementation at the national level of the provisions concerning notification procedures: the national notification authority (NNA). Paragraph 3 of Annex B of the SPS Agreement indicates that each member “shall ensure that one enquiry point exists” which is responsible for the provision of answers to all reasonable questions as well as the provision of relevant documents: the national enquiry point (NEP).
In order for members to be able to contact the NNAs and NEPs of their stakeholders, it is important to inform the Secretariat of any designation, or change, of these organisms. Contact information is available through the SPS Information Management System and the ePing alert system.
Members can request specific training on transparency-related topics by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SPS Committee has undertaken a number of thematic workshops related to transparency.
- Workshop on Transparency and Coordination, 15-16 July 2019
- Thematic SPS Workshop on Transparency, 30-31 October 2017
- Transparency Workshop, 12-13 October 2015
- Workshop on the Transparency Provisions of the SPS Agreement, 15 October 2012
- Workshop on the transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement, 18-22 October 2010
- Workshop on Transparency, 15-16 October 2007
For detailed information on other relevant activities, please check Event, workshops and training.