PROPOSED TEXT FOR THE SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES COMPONENT OF THE FTAA AGREEMENT
Article 1. - Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
|| Parties agree to reaffirm their rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
|| Parties agree to use the WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures for any formal disputes regarding sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures.
|| Recognizing the benefits from a hemispheric programme of technical and institutional cooperation and assistance, a Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, comprising representatives of each Party who have responsibility for sanitary and phytosanitary matters is hereby established. This Committee would provide a regular forum for consultations and cooperation to enhance the effectiveness of Parties' regulations in this area in a manner which is fully consistent with, and supportive of, relevant WTO rights and obligations. The Committee would address SPS issues of relevance to the Parties, including:
- the development of operational guidelines to facilitate implementation of mutual recognition and equivalence agreements, product control, inspection and approval procedures, risk assessments, etc;
- enhanced transparency of SPS measures, including counter-notification of such measures;
- identification and resolution of SPS-related problems;
- institutional and regulatory cooperation;
- recognition of pest- or disease free areas;
- hemispheric coordination in multilateral and international fora on sanitary and phytosanitary issues;
- harmonization of relevant international sanitary and phytosanitary standards, guidelines and recommendations; and
- technical assistance.