STC Number - 26

Phytosanitary issues in general

Maintained by: Unspecified
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7 para. 12
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally; RD/SPS/114
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Plant health; Pest- or Disease- free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Resolved
Solution: In October 2013, information was received from the United States on the resolution of this STC (RD/SPS/114, of 29 October 2020).
Date reported as resolved: 16/10/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1997, the representative of the United States drew the Committee's attention to a number of generic issues of concern with regard to phytosanitary trade restrictions. He noted that the mere existence of a plant disease or pest in traded agricultural goods did not necessarily constitute a risk to the importing country. If a certain pest or disease, because of scientific reasons, could not establish itself in the area into which it was being imported, trade restrictions were unlikely to provide significant additional health protection. Likewise, where the plant disease or pest was already prevalent in the country to which it was being exported, import controls were unlikely to serve any significant health objective. The US representative urged Members to ensure compliance with the principle of national treatment as well as other key provisions of the WTO and the SPS Agreement, in particular Article 6 thereof.

In October 2013, the Secretariat informed that in September 2013 it had contacted all Members who had raised specific trade concerns (STCs) that had not been discussed in the previous year, to request an update on their status. In furtherance of this request, information was received from the United States on the resolution of this STC. In November 2020, the Secretariat indicated that the information received had been circulated in document RD/SPS/114, of 29 October 2020, and that the SPS IMS would be updated on this basis, using the date of the October 2013 SPS Committee meeting as the date of resolution of the relevant STCs.