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Regulating Health and Environmental Risks under WTO LawA Critical Analysis of the SPS Agreement$
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Lukasz Gruszczynski

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578924.001.0001

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Harmonization Disciplines of the SPS Agreement

Harmonization Disciplines of the SPS Agreement

(p.75) 3 Harmonization Disciplines of the SPS Agreement
Regulating Health and Environmental Risks under WTO Law

Lukasz Gruszczynski

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the harmonizing disciplines of the SPS Agreement. It briefly addresses the normative content of the concept and reviews main arguments for and against international harmonization. The second part provides information on the international standard-setting bodies that are explicitly recognized by the SPS Agreement (Codex Alimentarius Commission, World Organisation for Animal Health, and the International Plant Protection Convention). The third part discusses in more detail each of the three options that is available to WTO Members under Article 3 of the SPS Agreement; namely, a situation when a measure conforms to international standards, when it is merely based on such standards, and when it deviates from them. In the context of the last option, the chapter argues that WTO members are permitted to depart from international standards in both directions, as the agreement does not establish any minimum SPS standards.

Keywords:   Codex, Codex Alimentarius, international harmonization, international standard, IPPC, OIE, regional standard, regulatory heterogeneity, SPS Agreement, minimum harmonization

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