International Standard Setting Institutions
Thursday, 25 February 2010 09:22
World Trade Organisation Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (WTO SPS)

The WTO SPS is an agreement on how governments can apply food safety and animal and plant health measures (sanitary and phytosanitary or SPS measures) outlining the basic rules in the WTO.

  • The SPS Information Management System (SPS IMS) provides access to documents and records relevant under the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). It allows users to track information on SPS measures that Member governments have notified to the WTO, specific trade concerns raised in the SPS Committee, SPS-related documents circulated at the WTO, Member governments' SPS Enquiry Points and Notification Authorities, and the membership of the WTO, Codex, IPPC, and the OIE.
  • For more information on the SPS Agreement, click here ...

Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC):

IPPC — the International Plant Protection Convention — is an international treaty that aims to secure coordinated, effective action to prevent and to control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant products.

The Convention extends beyond the protection of cultivated plants to the protection of natural flora and plant products. It takes into consideration both direct and indirect damage by pests, so it includes weeds. It also covers vehicles, aircraft and vessels, containers, storage places, soil and other objects or material that can harbour or spread pests.

The Convention provides a framework and a forum for international cooperation, harmonization and technical exchange between contracting parties whilst ensuring compliance with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM).

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE):

The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.

The WAHID Interface provides access to all data held within OIE's new World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). It is a  comprehensive range of information on:

  • Immediate notifications and follow-up reports submitted by Member Countries in response to exceptional disease events occurring in these countries as well as follow-up reports about these events,
  • Six-monthly reports describing the OIE-listed disease situations in each country
  • Annual reports providing further background information on animal health, on laboratory and vaccine production facilities, etc.

The CODEX Alimentarius Commission:

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Convention of Biological Biodiversity (CBD):

Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

CITES is an international agreement to which States (countries) adhere voluntarily. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention ('joined' CITES) are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.