CET ARTICLE a pour objet d’aider le public à mieux comprendre les questions traitées à l’OMC. bien que tout ait été fait pour garantir l’exactitude des renseignements qui y figurent, l’article ne préjuge pas des dispositions des gouvernements membres.

Le résumé officiel des débats figure dans le compte rendu de la réunion.

> mesures sanitaires et phytosanitaires
> nouvelles sur les mesures sanitaires et phytosanitaires



sur les “trois sœurs” dans le domaine SPS — les organismes internationaux de normalisation:
> Codex Alimentarius
> Organisation mondiale de la santé animale
> Convention internationale pour la protection des végétaux

According to Nigeria, Mexico requires verification of plant health certificates for consignments of hibiscus flowers, a plant commonly used in beverages, resulting in delays of up to six weeks. Mexico, in response, says that the validation requirement is due to its detection of false certification by Nigeria, and it expects to work closely with the Nigerian authorities to find a solution. Nigeria intends to request the "good offices" of the chairperson of the committee, Mr Felipe Hees of Brazil, to assist in resolving the issue.

WTO members agreed a new procedure (document G/SPS/61) in July 2014 to help members settle their differences on food safety and animal and plant health measures. The mediation process provides a new tool for resolving differences on specific trade concerns, while avoiding a more complicated legal challenge under the WTO’s dispute settlement system. As required by the new procedure, Nigeria needs to submit a written request for mediation, which Mexico can accept or reject within 30 days.

The meeting heard a total of 29 trade concerns - seven new issues and 22 concerns previously discussed in the committee. Senegal withdrew two issues it had initially placed on the agenda after good progress during bilateral discussions on the margins of the committee meeting.


Pesticide residues

The committee discussed a submission by India on pesticide residues (G/SPS/W/284). The Indian paper cites examples where importing countries have not established upper limits for residues of particular pesticides in food products but have nevertheless rejected shipments if the pesticide is detected in the food imports. No consensus emerged on India's suggestion that the committee begin developing guidelines on this issue. But the committee agreed that an information session should be organized in 2016 to exchange experiences and information.


India’s imports of apples

India’s recent announcement on restricting imports of apples at the Nhava Sheva port in Mumbai was queried by New Zealand, Chile, the United States and the European Union (EU). They noted that India’s measure has resulted in delays to apple imports, and that the measure has not been notified to the WTO. They requested India to provide reasons for the change in policy and to lift the restrictions as soon as possible. India responded that the measure is not related to food safety or plant health concerns, and thus should not be addressed in the committee.


Chile’s export of agricultural products

Chile raised a number of specific trade concerns relating to its exports of fruit, plants, and dairy and meat products to Viet Nam and Australia. According to Chile, Viet Nam closed its market to Chilean fruit due to fruit fly concerns. Chile reassured members that it is free of fruit flies, and that it has taken timely and sufficient measures to control a recent fruit fly outbreak. Chile also expressed concerns that Viet Nam and Australia have taken a long time to conduct pest risk analysis of agricultural products from Chile. For example, Australia began a pest risk analysis for Chilean avocados in 2011, yet the analysis is still not complete due to lack of resources to carry out the assessment. Chile urged its trading partners to speed up their approval processes.


EU criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors

A number of members raised concerns about the European Union’s proposed roadmap for defining criteria to identify chemical substances that can interfere with the human hormone system — known as endocrine disruptors. Many countries worry that the strict criteria proposed by the EU could effectively prohibit the export of agricultural products to the EU market.

Argentina and the United States said that although they support the EU’s policy to protect public health and the environment, the approach to identifying endocrine disruptors could have detrimental trade consequences. Their concern was shared by a number of members, including Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam. The EU informed members that it had submitted a summary report of the public consultation on this matter (G/SPS/GEN/1448) and it will keep the committee informed of any future developments.


Import restriction on Japanese food products

Japan reiterated its concern about the import restrictions imposed by China and Chinese Taipei following the Fukushima nuclear accident. Japan asserted that the import restrictions apply to more Japanese regions than those affected by the disaster, and that the process of risk assessment takes too long. In response, China and Chinese Taipei said the purpose of their measures is to guarantee food safety, and confirmed their willingness to have bilateral conversations with Japan to find a solution.


Resolved trade concerns

Senegal informed the committee that it had made progress in bilateral talks about the export of mangoes and cherry tomatoes to Tunisia, Lebanon and Russia, and requested the issue to be removed from the meeting agenda.

The EU updated members about import restrictions due to Avian Influenza or “bird flu” detected in March 2015. It welcomed the fact that most countries recognize the effectiveness of its early control measures and have lifted their import bans, and encouraged those that have not removed their measures to do so.


Workshop on transparency

The chairman reported on a workshop on transparency which took place on 12-13 October. Approximately 150 participants received hands-on training on how to access and use SPS-related information and how to notify the WTO of their trade measures. Participants also shared national experiences and debated how to further improve transparency in this area.


To know more

Documents from the 14-16 October formal meeting of the SPS committee are available here.

More details about the SPS Agreement, the work of the committee, and past SPS news items are available on the WTO website at

The SPS information management system provides information on all SPS-related measures notified by WTO members and the trade-related concerns discussed in previous committee meetings.

Comprendre le jargon 

Placez le curseur sur un terme pour voir sa définition:

• équivalence

• mesures sanitaires et phytosanitaires

• notification

• régionalisation

• traitement spécial et différencié

> Mieux comprendre le jargon: glossaire

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