The WTO secretariat has prepared this text to promote public understanding of the SPS agreement. There are no plans to provide for a legal interpretation of the agreement. Trade in SPS-type products has the potential to generate significant economic benefits for national economies.  However, in order to foster economic concerns on other important public health policy issues, a thorough review by governments and the international community is needed.  4. Risk Assessment Risk Assessment assessing the likelihood of the installation, installation or spread of a pest or disease on the territory of an importing member, in accordance with potential health or plant health measures and the potential biological and economic consequences; or assessing the potential for adverse effects on human and animal health resulting from the presence of additives, contaminants, toxins or pathogens in food, beverages or animal feed. Developing countries have participated to an unprecedented extent in all aspects of the Uruguay Round negotiations. Developing countries have been active participants in negotiations on health and plant health measures, often represented by their national food safety experts or veterinary and plant health experts. Both before and during the Uruguay Round negotiations, the GATT secretariat helped developing countries define effective negotiating positions. The SPS agreement calls for assistance to developing countries so that they can strengthen their food security and health supplement systems for wildlife.
FAO and other international organizations have already implemented programmes for developing countries in these regions. An agreement on how governments can implement food security measures as well as animal and plant health measures (health and plant health measures or SPS or SPS measures) sets the ground rules within the WTO. This introduction examines the text of the SPS agreement as contained in the final act of Uruguay`s round of multilateral trade negotiations, signed in Marrakech on 15 April 1994. This agreement and other agreements contained in the final act are part of the Treaty establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade as amended (GATT 1994). The WTO has replaced GATT as the umbrella organization for international trade. 3. Members ensure that their sanitary and plant health measures are not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminated against between members under identical or similar conditions, including between their own territory and that of other members. Health and plant health measures should not be applied in a way that would constitute a disguised restriction on international trade.
Reaffirming that no Member should be prevented from taking or enforcing the measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, unless these measures are applied in such a way as to constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustified discrimination between members in the event of equal conditions or disguised restrictions on international trade; The transparency provisions of the SPS agreement are designed to ensure that measures to protect human, animal and plant health are made known to the public and trading partners. The agreement obliges governments to immediately publish all health and plant health provisions and to present, at the request of another government, the reasons for a specific food or animal or plant safety requirement. In addition, health and plant health measures can only be imposed to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant health on the basis of scientific information. However, governments can introduce OBT rules where necessary to achieve a number of objectives, such as national security or the prevention of deceptive practices.