, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 103-105

Plant health as a trade policy issue

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Plant health status has always influenced international trade. However, since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, the plant health status of Member countries has be come an integral part of import risk analysis via the disciplines of the WTO’s SPS Agreement. It is now incumbent on Member countries not using international standards to produce import risk analyses that are science-based, objective, defensible and transparent to support the imposition of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The SPS Agreement builds on previous GATT trade rules to restrict the use of unjustified SPS measures for the purpose of trade protection while still acknowledging a country’s right to determine the level of health protection it deems appropriate. Now more than ever, plant health is a trade policy issue.