SANITARY & PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES

SPS Committee Thematic Session on Equivalence (Part 2)

Geneva, WTO Headquarters

In the context of the Fifth Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement, Canada submitted a proposal for the Committee to consider holding a workshop or thematic session on equivalence (G/SPS/W/302/Rev.1). Australia and Brazil also submitted proposals on the subject (G/SPS/W/299, G/SPS/W/301), including examining the existing guidance on the recognition of equivalence (G/SPS/19/Rev.2). At the Committee meeting in July 2018, many Members were in favour of a thematic session or workshop on equivalence.

This first part of a two-part thematic session on equivalence was held on 30 October 2018. It provided an opportunity to introduce the concept of equivalence, and for WTO Members to increase their awareness of the relevant provisions of the SPS Agreement, Committee guidance, related jurisprudence, and equivalence from a TBT perspective. In addition, representatives of Codex, IPPC and OIE outlined the relevant international standards and explained how equivalence was applied in their areas.

The second part of this thematic session focused on Members' experiences with the implementation of equivalence.

Programme (in PDF format)

Chairperson: Ms Noncedo Vutula

1. Member experiences

1.1 Equivalence of SPS Measures

Member experiences and approaches to the recognition and implementation of equivalence of specific SPS measures or groups of SPS measures.

Speakers:

  • Ms Shannon McMurtrey (FSIS) and Ms Mara Burr (International Food Safety Policy Manager, FDA), United States
    Presentation
  • Mr Kong Xiaobang, Director, General Customs Administration, China
    Practice and Challenge of Equivalence in China's Import and Export Food Safety Supervision
    Presentation
  • Ms Heather Holland, National Manager, Foreign Relations and Issues Management, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Canada's Application of Equivalence for Plant Health
    Presentation
  • Mr Ernesto Guevara, General Coordinator, Directorate of Technical Requirements for Foreign Trade, Viceministry of Foreign Trade, Peru
    Equivalence: Peru's experience
    Presentation

Followed by Q&A session and discussion

1.2 Systems-Based Equivalence

Member experiences and approaches to the recognition and implementation of systems-based equivalence.

Speakers:

  • Dr Bill Jolly, Chief Assurance Strategy Officer, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
    Making Equivalence Work; From International Standards to Modern Trading Relationships
    Presentation
  • Ms Heather Holland, National Manager, Foreign Relations and Issues Management, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Canada’s Approach to Food Safety Equivalence
    Presentation

Followed by Q&A session and discussion

2. Other experiences and approaches

The session will explore other experiences and approaches taken in the implementation of equivalence.

Speakers:

  • Mr Ernesto Guevara, General Coordinator, Directorate of Technical Requirements for Foreign Trade, Viceministry of Foreign Trade, Peru
    Presentation
  • Ms Martha Byanyima, COMESA
    Applying equivalence to facilitate trade in the COMESA Free Trade Area
    Presentation
  • Dr Megan Quinlan, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
    Key Approaches to Equivalence in Plant Health
    Presentation

Followed by Q&A session and discussion

3. Takeaway messages, concluding remarks