SANITARY & PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES: INFORMATION

The SPS Committee

The SPS Committee is the forum where WTO members discuss issues related to the implementation of the SPS Agreement and potential trade concerns. All decisions are reached by consensus. Information on the chairs of the SPS Committee can be found here.

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SPS Committee

Article 12 of the SPS Agreement establishes a Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to provide a regular forum for consultations. The SPS Committee reaches its decisions by consensus. It has the mandate to carry out the functions necessary to implement the provisions of the SPS Agreement and to encourage and facilitate ad hoc consultations or negotiations among members on specific SPS issues. The SPS Committee reports to the Council for Trade in Goods. The work is officially recorded in the Committee’s annual reports to the Goods Council and in summary reports of the Committee’s meetings.

The SPS Agreement encourages members to base their SPS measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations and to participate in the activities of the relevant international organizations. The SPS Agreement references three standard-setting bodies: the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention, known as the “Three Sisters”.

Committee meetings — Key information

The Committee normally holds three meetings per year. A notice to remind members of upcoming meetings of the Committee and an annotated draft agenda are issued prior to the date of each meeting. Any member may request the inclusion of items under the proposed agenda, either through the eAgenda or in writing to the Secretariat.

  • Do you want to have a quick overview of the Committee? Take a look at this presentation and the FAQ for SPS delegates.
  • Find out here who the current Chair of the SPS Committee is, and who chaired the Committee in the past.
  • Do you want to know more about special meetings and events held by the SPS Committee? Find relevant information in Events, workshops and training.
  • A number of intergovernmental organizations have observer status in the SPS Committee. You can see the list of observer organizations here.

SPS Committee documents (Guide to WTO documentation)

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  • Annual reports of the SPS Committee to the Council for Trade in Goods (G/L/*)    > Search
  • Summary reports (minutes) of regular meetings of the SPS Committee (G/SPS/R/*)   > Search
  • Major Decisions and Documents of the SPS Committee  > SPS decisions page
  • Working procedures of the SPS Committee   > Search
  • General documents of the SPS Committee (G/SPS/GEN/*)   > Search
  • Working documents of the SPS Committee (G/SPS/W/*)   > Search
  • Implementation of SPS transparency provisions and specific trade concerns (G/SPS/GEN/204/* and G/SPS/GEN/804/*)   > Search 
  • Technical assistance activities: (G/SPS/GEN/997/* and G/SPS/GEN/521/*)   > Search 
  • Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement(G/SPS/*)    > Search 
  • Disputes (requests for consultations) involving SPS (WT/DS*)    > Search  > SPS Disputes page
  • International Harmonization: Procedure to monitor international harmonization (G/SPS/GEN/*)   > Search 
  • Regionalization: Annual reports (G/SPS/GEN/*)    > Search 
  • Observer Status of International Intergovernmental Organizations in the SPS Committee (G/SPS/W/78/*)    > Search 
  • Update on the Operation of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) (G/SPS/GEN*)     > Search 
  • Specific Trade Concerns    > Search 
  • Notifications on SPS G/SPS/N/*   > Search 
  • Members' national notification authority (NNA) and national enquiry points (NEP)SPS IMS. For further information, please check the Members' transparency toolkit.

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