Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Pest Rules for Containers on Horizon, Cash-Strapped Agency Tells WTO


Work is underway on standards for “minimizing pest movement by sea containers and conveyances in international trade”, and is at an earlier stage on similar standards for air containers and aircraft, the IPPC told the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Committee.

Australia, the EU and US supported the IPPC’s call for extra funding as it faces a projected budget deficit of $1.2m in 2011 and urged delegations to raise the issue with relevant agencies in their countries.

Delegations are now close to agreeing on some actions on standards set by the private sector – mainly on defining private standards and sharing information – but continue to differ on actions beyond that. They also continue to differ on proposals on how to set up a system that would encourage members to make more use of mediation by the chairperson to resolve some of their differences.

And four new specific trade concerns, among the fewest in recent meetings, were raised as part of the committee’s main task of overseeing the SPS Agreement’s implementation, with the EU presenting a list of 14 concerns it considers to have been resolved. Read more details here.