Comparative Guide Chile - U.S. FTA and DR - CAFTA - Chapter 6: Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures

A Comparative Guide to the Chile-United States Free Trade Agreement and the
Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement


Chapter Six: Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures


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In addition to the agriculture provisions explained before, both DR-CAFTA and the Chile-U.S. FTA contain brief Chapters on sanitary and phytosanitary measures (Chapter 6 in each Agreement).

Objectives: under DR-CAFTA and the Chile-U.S. FTA, the Chapters on SPS measures are based on enhancing the implementation of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (referred to as the SPS Agreement), with the ultimate aim of expanding trade opportunities among the Parties.

Scope and Coverage and General Provisions: the Articles on scope and coverage contain similar provisions in both Agreements (the Chapters apply to SPS measures that may, directly or indirectly, affect trade among the Parties). Additionally, for any matter arising under these Chapters, both Agreements disallow recourse to the dispute settlement provisions outlined in DR-CAFTA and in the Chile-U.S. FTA. The Parties’ rights and obligations contained in the WTO SPS Agreement are reaffirmed as a general provision under the Chile-U.S. FTA (Art.6.2.1) but included as a separate Article under DR-CAFTA (Art.6.1).

Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Matters: similar provisions guiding the establishment of Committees on sanitary and phytosanitary measures appear in both Agreements where said Committees are to be established no later than 30 days after the date of entry into force of the respective Agreements. Annex 6.3 of DR-CAFTA defines the representatives of the agencies and/or ministries from each Party to form the Committee. In the Chile-U.S. FTA the members of the Committee from each Party are outlined in the Committee’s terms of reference.

The objectives and responsibilities of the Committees in both Agreements are largely similar. The mandate is to meet at least once a year unless the Parties otherwise agree. Among other functions, the respective Committees would serve as a means through which Parties consult on issues, positions and agendas for meetings of international and regional fora on food safety, human, animal and plant health. The multilateral nature of DR-CAFTA, however, is highlighted in one paragraph in particular where emphasis is placed on promoting communication between the Parties’ agencies, facilitating responses to written requests for information with minimal delay, as well as ensuring that Parties are informed at the earliest opportunity about responding to a request. The DR-CAFTA Committee is also specifically charged with being a forum for addressing bilateral and plurilateral SPS matters. The Chile-U.S. FTA mentions improving bilateral understanding between the Parties. Another point of departure between the texts of both Agreements is related to the coordination of technical cooperation programs on SPS matters, which while being charged to Committees in both Agreements, is treated slightly differently under DR-CAFTA since the recommendations are made to the Committee on Trade Capacity Building. Provision is also made in both Agreements for the establishment of ad hoc working groups in accordance with each Committee’s terms of reference. SPS specific definitions are included as Article 6.4 in the Chile-U.S. FTA, however, the same definitions area included under general definitions of Chapter 2 in DR-CAFTA.




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