OBT measures could cover anything from vehicle safety to the shape of food cartons to energy-efficient appliances. To cite some examples of human health, OBT measures could include pharmaceutical restrictions or cigarette labelling. Most measures related to the fight against human diseases fall under the OBT agreement, unless they involve diseases transmitted by plants or animals (for example. B rabies). With regard to foodstuffs, labelling requirements, nutritional claims and concerns, quality and packaging rules are generally not considered sanitary or plant health measures and are therefore generally subject to the OBT agreement. to support the use of harmonised health and plant health measures among members, based on relevant international standards, guidelines and recommendations, including the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Bureau of Epidemics, and relevant international and regional organizations acting within the framework of the International Convention on the Protection of Plants, without members being asked to change their level of adequate human protection. , animal or plant life or health; (2) Where the appropriate level of health protection or plant protection allows for the gradual introduction of new sanitary or plant protection measures to combat proliferation, longer compliance times for products of interest to members of developing countries should be provided in order to obtain export opportunities. The agreement on the application of sanitary and plant health measures (“SPS agreement”) came into force on 1 January 1995 with the creation of the World Trade Organization. This includes the application of food safety rules, veterinary and plant health legislation.
The Agreement on Health and Plant Health Measures (SPS) builds on previous GATT rules to limit the application of unjustified health and plant health protections for trade defence purposes. The fundamental objective of the SPS agreement is to maintain the sovereign right of any government to respect the level of health protection it deems appropriate, but to ensure that these sovereign rights are not diverted for protectionist purposes and do not result in unnecessary obstacles to international trade. As the world`s largest importer and exporter of food, the EU has also concluded a series of trade agreements on health and plant health measures with countries or groups of countries outside the EU. The European Union, as a global distributor of food and feed, has concluded various international trade agreements and has contributed to the development of international standards that underpin food legislation. 2. Health or plant health measures in accordance with international standards, guidelines or recommendations are considered necessary to protect the life or health of people, animals or plants and are deemed to be in accordance with the relevant provisions of this agreement and the 1994 GATT. The technical agreement to combat trade includes all technical rules, standards and optional procedures to ensure compliance, unless they are sanitary or plant health measures within the meaning of the SPS agreement. It is therefore the nature of the measure that determines whether it falls under the OBT agreement, but the purpose of the measure, which is relevant to determining whether a measure is subject to the SPS convention. In the first year, the SPS Committee developed recommended procedures and a standard format that governments can use for the necessary advance notification of new rules. By the end of 1997, more than 700 notifications of health and plant health measures had been filed and circulated.
The Committee reviewed information provided by governments on their national regulatory procedures, their application of risk assessment in the development of health and plant health measures and their health status, including foot-and-mouth disease and disease.