SUMMARY OF THE MEETING OF 30 JUNE – 1 JULY 2016
Note by the Secretariat
The following paragraphs should be corrected to read as follows:
4.2.7 Costa Rica's suspension of the issuing of phytosanitary import certificates for avocados (G/SPS/N/CRI/160, G/SPS/N/CRI/160/Add.1 and G/SPS/N/CRI/162) – Concerns of Mexico (No. 394)
4.22. Mexico reiterated its concern regarding Costa Rica's suspension of the issuing of phytosanitary certificates for avocado imports originating from Mexico. Mexico considered the measure to be in violation of fundamental principles of technical and scientific justification based on international standards, most-favoured nation, proportionality and transparency principles as enshrined in the SPS Agreement and the SPS Chapter of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and Latin America. Mexico noted its preference to promote dialogue between authorities in various consultative formats; however, these efforts had not been successful as no response had been received from Costa Rican authorities in regard to the issue. Mexico indicated that its avocado exports continued to be significantly affected by the restrictions imposed by Costa Rica and further reiterated its request for Costa Rica to immediately withdraw its measure in order to resume avocado trade between the two countries.
4.2.17 China's lack of transparency for certain SPS measures – Concerns of the United States (No. 184)
4.53. The European Union supported the points made by the United States and Australia, and underlined its particular concern about the new Chinese certification regime. The European Union feared that this specific measure would not be justified by any risk assessment, as the products concerned – pasta, confectionary or baked products – were inherently safe, and would impose a disproportionate and unnecessary burden on the exporting countries. The European Union looked forward to seeing the Chinese notification for this measure, and to work with China on this issue.
5 operation of transparency provisions
5.2 European Union – Transparency Provision of the SPS Agreement
5.7. The European Union thanked the Secretariat for its work on improving the SPS tools, and reiterated its interest in other topics from the October 2015 transparency workshop such as: (i) facilitating access to Members' SPS import requirements via dedicated websites; (ii) conducting a discussion on trade facilitating measures; and (iii) sharing unofficial translations of notified regulations. On the first and second topics, the European Union indicated that it might submit proposals in the future. On the third one, the European Union supported posting unofficial translations of notified documents, with a disclaimer, on the WTO SPS webpage. The European Union underlined that these translations should be unofficial, unless otherwise agreed by the notifying Member, and that their access should be restricted to Members only. The European Union sought clarification on whether this new procedure would run in parallel with the current one, i.e. sharing of unofficial translations through the notification of supplements, or not.