WTO Booklet Highlights Members’ Activities in 2020 on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health

·         Tanzania among the top ten notifiers of SPS notifications in 2020

A new booklet launched on 27 July highlights strong engagement from WTO members at all levels of development in transparency and prevention of trade disputes. The information contained in the booklet is based on the 2020 review of members’ implementation of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the “SPS Agreement”).

The SPS Agreement aims to ensure that WTO members’ health protection measures in the areas of food safety, animal and plant health do not restrict international trade more than necessary. The WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures oversees the implementation of the SPS Agreement and is the forum where members discuss specific trade concerns (STCs).

The publication focuses on members’ compliance with notification requirements under the SPS Agreement and the trade concerns raised in the SPS Committee, often in response to these notifications.

Key results highlighted in the booklet:

1.    Over 2,000 SPS notifications were submitted by WTO members in 2020, an all-time high.

2.    Developing countries have submitted more SPS notifications than developed countries.

3.    Tanzania was among the top ten notifiers of SPS notifications in 2020.

4.    More than two-thirds of regular notifications submitted in 2020 related to food safety.

5.    The number of trade-facilitating SPS measures in 2020 was more than twice as high as in 2017.

6.    Almost half of the trade concerns discussed in the SPS Committee in 2020 referred to food safety.

7.    In 2020, 63 members submitted at least one SPS notification; 14 raised at least one specific trade concern.

8.    More than half of the trade concerns raised up to 2020 have been resolved or partially resolved.

9.    The SPS Committee adopted the Fifth Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement in 2020.

10. Over four-fifths of members used the WTO’s online system to submit notifications in 2020.