Box 3 – The difference between SPS and TBT The TBT agreement is similar to the SPS agreement in your content and format. Both agreements promote the application of international standards (harmonisation) and the principle of equivalence in the development of non-tariff measures. In implementing these measures, both agreements promote the concepts of non-discrimination and avoidance of unnecessary barriers to trade. The transparency provisions are also very similar. The difference between agreements consists mainly of the coverage and the underlying basis of the application of a measure. In general, a measure under the OBT agreement must be based on a legitimate objective. For example, governments may impose specific requirements on the importation of armaments (national security) or limit imports of endangered species (environment) or impose that labels on cigarette packets warn consumers of the dangers of smoking (human health). These are examples of legitimate objectives that governments use as the basis for requirements for imported products. These measures do not fall within the scope of the SPS Convention, as they do not meet the definition of an SPS measure as defined in Box 3. Where a regulation contains both SPS and TBT elements, it should be notified in accordance with both the SPS and OBT agreements, preferably specifying the parts of the regulation subject to the spS (for example. B a food security measure) and the parties covered by the OBT agreement (for example. B quality or composition requirements).
Box 3 illustrates the distinction between SPS and TBT measures. For matters outside the aforementioned organizations, the SPS Committee has not yet recognized other standards bodies, although this possibility is permitted as part of the agreement. International standard, guidance or recommendation 1. The SPS agreement uses the terms “measures” and “regulations” in a somewhat interchangeable way. Readers should keep in mind that, regardless of the term used, the agreement covers all sanitary or plant health measures, such as laws, regulations or regulations relating to the protection of humans, animals or health within the meaning of Schedule A, paragraph 1, of the SPS agreement. Return to the text “Health or plant health measures include all relevant laws, regulations, regulations, requirements and procedures, including, among other things, the criteria of the final product; Processes and production methods Testing, testing, certification and certification procedures; quarantine treatments, including relevant requirements for transporting animals or plants or materials necessary for their survival during transportation; provisions for statistical methods, sampling methods and risk assessment methods; packaging and labelling requirements that are directly related to food safety.” In an effort to improve transparency, some countries are also notifying rules that comply with international standards, which is well received. All proposed SPS measures that meet the above criteria, including general standards and measures relating to bilateral or multi-lateral trade, should be notified to the WTO. An example of a measure that deals only with bilateral trade is in Colombia`s communication on restrictions on fresh fruit from Brazil.