Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and Technical barriers in trade
- life and health protection of animals and plants within the territory of the state from the risks occurring due to penetration, root taking or spreading the pests, diseases, hazardous organisms - germ carriers or pathogens;
- life and health protection of people or animals within the territory of the state from the risks occurring due to supplements, contaminating substances, toxins or pathogens in food products, beverages or или feeding-stuffs;
- life and health protection of people within the territory of the state from the risks occurring due to diseases transmitted by animals, plants or products from them or due to penetration, root taking or spreading the pests; or
- prevention or restriction of any damage within the territory of the state, caused with penetration, root taking or spreading the pests
Technical barriers in trade are regulated in the frame of WTO with the Agreement on Technical Barriers in Trade (Agreement TBT). The Agreement specifies the provisions preventing the technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures developed by the states from creation of obstacles to international trade.
In compliance with TBT Agreement rules the technical regulations are the documents of obligatory nature, whereas standards are non-obligatory documents. The Agreement establishes The Code of fair practice on elaboration, approval and application of standards by central state bodies.
Conformity assessment procedures can be conventionally divided into two parts : products conformity assessment and assessment of the activity on conformity maintenance. The present procedures include testing, inspection, certification, metrology, calibration, attesting. At that obligation of member-countries upon recognizing the results of conformity assessment between the countries plays a significant role. Agreement distinguishes three methods: unilateral recognition, mutual recognition and agreement on voluntary recognition.
States enjoy the right to approve standards which they consider to be necessary for protection of people, animals, plants life and health, environment and as well citizens’ interests. For instance, in respect of protection of people’s life and health the TBT measures shall contain requirements to pharmaceuticals or to cigarettes pack labels. In respect of food products TBT establishes requirements to marking, information on the label, quality and packing of products.
The main principle to be observed by the countries upon exercising the technical regulations is and standards as well as upon carrying out conformity assessment procedures is the non-discrimination principle.
WTO Commission on technical regulation has elaborated a number of principles which shall be obligatorily observed upon elaboration of international standards and recommendations:
- Impartiality and consensus;
- Efficiency and relevancy;