STC Number - 192

Non-notification of various SPS measures

Maintained by: India
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by: Australia; European Union; New Zealand
First date raised: June 2004 G/SPS/R/34, paras. 52-54
Dates subsequently raised: October 2004 (G/SPS/R/35, paras. 80-82)
March 2005 (G/SPS/R/36/Rev.1, paras. 69-70)
June 2005 (G/SPS/R/37/Rev.1, paras. 48-50)
Number of times subsequently raised: 3
Relevant documents: G/SPS/R/33 (paras. 23-31)
Products covered: 0401 Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.; 0402 Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.; 0403 Buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yogurt, kephir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa.; 0405 Butter and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads.; 0406 Cheese and curd.; 0511 Animal products not elsewhere specified or included; dead animals of Chapter 1 or 3, unfit for human consumption.
Primary subject keyword: Other concerns
Keywords: Other concerns; Transparency
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 2004, the United States indicated that India's non-notification, or late notification, of SPS measures had created unnecessary trade disruptions and an uncertain environment for trade. India was requested to comply with obligations under the SPS Agreement by notifying all its SPS measures to the WTO and providing a reasonable period of time for Members to review and comment on the notifications. Australia, the European Communities and New Zealand shared the concerns raised by the United States. India stated that it attached great importance to the issue of transparency. With respect to India's Plant Quarantine Order 2003, statements had already been provided to the European Communities and the issue had been discussed at the March Committee meeting. India had notified the measure on 4 March 2004 with a 60-day comment period and had ensured that trade was not restricted because of the lack of timeliness of the notification.
In October 2004, the United States expressed continued concern over India's non-notification of measures which created uncertainty among US exporters. India was requested to notify its SPS measures and to allow a reasonable period of time for comment. The European Communities shared the concerns of the United States and at the same time urged all Members to notify their SPS measures. A bilateral meeting had been held with India and the European Communities were optimistic of improvements in India's transparency obligations. India stated that it would ensure that it complied with its obligations.
In March 2005, the United States again expressed concern regarding India's non-compliance with its transparency obligations under the SPS Agreement andrequested India to suspend the implementation of measures on dairy products and pet food until a WTO notification was made available and a reasonable time provided to Members for their review and comment. The European Communities shared the concerns of the United States. India stated that it would take the necessary steps to notify SPS requirements as soon as possible.
In June 2005, the United States noted that although India had improved its coordination on SPS issues, some Indian departments continued to note notify SPS measures implemented. The United States requested that India notify new and revised food regulations and import conditions.
The European Communities noted that it had also been adversely affected by India's lack of notification of some SPS rules governing imports of agricultural products. Progress in terms of transparency had been limited to the phytosanitary sector; legislation governing animal health and production were not systematically notified.
India explained that it had recently notified the establishment of three separate enquiry points with clearly delineated responsibilities. These efforts had achieved greater coordination among agencies, as demonstrated by the number of recent notifications that had been submitted at an early stage in the development of the regulation and with a due period for comments.