SPS Committee Thematic Session on Equivalence (Part 1)

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). Other Members also submitted proposals recommending that the Committee further discuss the concept of equivalence, including examining the existing guidance on the recognition of equivalence (G/SPS/19/Rev.2, G/SPS/W/299, G/SPS/W/301). 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 will provide an opportunity to introduce the concept of equivalence, and for WTO Members to increase their awareness of the relevant provisions of the SPS Agreement, the guidance from the Committee (G/SPS/19/Rev.2), and related jurisprudence. In addition, representatives of Codex, IPPC and OIE will explain how the concept of equivalence is applied in their areas, as well as the relevant international standards. The second part of this thematic session will be held in March 2019, and will focus on Members' experiences with the implementation of equivalence.

Programme (in PDF format)

Chairperson: Ms Noncedo Vutula

1. International Rules and Guidelines

Provisions of the SPS Agreement on equivalence (Article 4), relevant guidelines (G/SPS/19/Rev.2) and jurisprudence


Equivalence from a TBT perspective  


Codex, IPPC and OIE: Standards, guidelines and recommendations related to equivalence


Followed by Q&A session and discussion.