Report (2017) on the Activities of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
作者:Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures


1.1.  The present report is being circulated by the Chairperson of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on his own responsibility. This report provides a summary of the activities and decisions of the Committee during 2017.

1.2.  The Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the "SPS Committee") held regular meetings on 22-23 March, 13-14 July, and 2-3 November 2017. The March 2017 SPS Committee was chaired by interim Chairperson Mr Felipe Hees (Brazil). Subsequently, the SPS Committee elected Mr Marcial Espínola Ramírez (Paraguay) as the new Chairperson for 2017-2018.

1.3.  The SPS Committee adopted the Report of the Fourth Review of the Operation and Implementation of the SPS Agreement[1] at the July 2017 Committee meeting. The adoption of this Report had been pending since October 2014, as the Committee had not reached consensus on the inclusion of a recommendation for future work on SPS-related private standards. Following a proposal from the United States and subsequent discussions among Members, the specific recommendation was replaced by descriptive text explaining the nature of the disagreement. The Committee requested that the Secretariat prepare a proposed timeline and procedure for the Fifth Review for consideration at its meeting in March 2018, with a view to starting this Review in 2018.

1.4.  The SPS Committee is considering a proposal submitted by Kenya, Uganda and the United States on follow-up recommendations to the October 2016 Workshop on Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs).[2] This proposal suggests strengthening the Codex system of setting MRLs; enhancing transparency of MRL; inviting regular reports to the SPS Committee about relevant international and regional activities; collaborating on solutions for minor use and specialty crops; and discussing the role of the Committee in coordination and harmonization. It also includes a proposed Ministerial Decision on the Committee's work on pesticide MRLs. While there was broad support for the proposal and for the inclusive, bottom-up procedure through which it was developed, there was no consensus on the endorsement of the Ministerial Decision for transmission to the Ministerial Conference to be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017.[3] Most Members supported including the proposal's recommendations in the Report of the Fifth Review.

1.5.  The Committee continued its consideration of the Catalogue of Instruments Available to WTO Members to Manage SPS Issues[4], tabled by Canada and Kenya as part of the Fourth Review. Although the Committee agrees on the value of the document, there is still no agreement on the inclusion of a disclaimer to clarify its legal status. With a view to resolving these differences, the Chairman proposed a new approach of combining an introductory paragraph describing the intended uses of the Catalogue with a soft disclaimer[5], but one Member could not accept it due to systemic concerns about the inclusion of disclaimers in Committee documents. The Committee requested a briefing on the use of Committee decisions and disclaimers in dispute settlement for early 2018.

[1] G/SPS/62.

[2] G/SPS/W/292/Rev.2.

[3] The proposed Decision is contained in an Annex to G/SPS/W/292/Rev.2.

[4] G/SPS/W/279/Rev.2.

[5] RD/SPS/16.