Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements


Workshop on the transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement

The Secretariat of the World Trade Organization organized a special workshop on the transparency provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, 15 October 2012 and in the morning of Tuesday, 16 October 2012.  The workshop was followed by informal and formal meetings of the SPS Committee, lasting until Friday, 19 October 2012.

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The workshop was intended to be a highly interactive, "hands-on" training event focussing in particular on the use of the SPS Information Management System (SPS IMS) and on the system for the on-line submission of SPS notifications (SPS NSS).

Representatives from the Codex Alimentarius, the World Organization for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention provided information on their online tools that could be helpful to Members.  The workshop also benefitted from the presentation by government officials from Morocco and Costa Rica on their national experience with regards to the submission of SPS notifications through the SPS NSS.



Monday, 15 October 2012

10.00 – 10.15  Opening remarks


10.15 – 10.45 Session I:  Introduction

Speakers:  Gretchen Stanton, Javier Ocampo, WTO Secretariat

  • Overview of transparency provisions in the SPS Agreement and of relevant Committee/Ministerial Decisions
    > presentation
  • How does the SPS IMS work?
    > presentation


11.00 – 13.00

Session II:  Practical session on the use of the SPS IMS  

Participants will break into three groups (i) English speakers, (ii) French speakers and (iii) Spanish speakers.

  • Who could/should track incoming notifications?
  • How could notifications of interest be identified and shared with stakeholders?
  • How could comments on incoming notifications be collected and shared with notifying Member?
  • The SPS IMS and resolving trade concerns
  • SPS IMS exercises
15.00 – 17.00

Session III:  Codex, OIE and IPPC online tools

15.00 – 15.30  

Access to current OIE standards, and supporting information available via WAHIS on the OIE website

Speaker: Derek Belton, Head International Trade Department, OIE
> presentation

15.30 – 15.50  

Access to current Codex standards and related information
Speaker: Selma Doyran, Secretary, Codex
> presentation

15.50 – 16.30  

Information available under the IPPC framework 

Speaker:  Yukio Yokoi, Secretary, IPPC
> presentation

16.30 – 17.00   Q&A

17.00 – 17.30

Session IV:  The integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP)

What is I-TIP and its relationship with the SPS IMS

Speaker:  Jurgen Richtering, WTO Secretariat
> presentation

  17.30 – 18.00

Wrap up session first day



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

10.00 – 10.15  Session V:  Overview of the SPS NSS
  • Presentation of Members' level of implementation of transparency provisions and decisions (G/SPS/GEN/804/Rev.5)
  • How does the on-line submission facility work?
    > presentation


10.30 – 12.00 Session VI:  Practical session on how to prepare notifications (SPS NSS)

Participants will break into three groups (i) English speakers, (ii) French speakers and (iii) Spanish speakers.

  • What should be notified and when?
  • Who should notify?
  • What format should be used?
  • Who could be consulted with questions during preparations?
  • To whom should notifications be sent?
  • SPS NSS hands-on exercises

  12.00 – 12.30

Session VII:  Sharing of national experiences in the use of WTO online tools



  • Hamid Lachhab, Director, Regulatory and Standardization Division, National Office for Food Safety, Morocco
    > presentation
  • Virginia Salazar Losilla, Officer in charge of SPS Notifications, SPS NNA, Ministry of Agriculture and livestock, Costa Rica
    > presentation


12.30 – 12.45 

Session VIII:  Identification of follow-up actions and evaluation of workshop

Facilitators:  Gretchen Stanton, Javier Ocampo, WTO Secretariat


12.45 – 13.00 

Closing remarks



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