chapter  17
7 Pages

Standards

Two related agreements, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and

the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS), together cover the

issues relating to standards in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TBT

Agreement aims to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification pro-

cedures, which vary from country to country, do not create unnecessary obstacles

to trade. The SPS Agreement aims to prevent domestic sanitary and phytosanitary

standards from being trade restrictive and protectionist. It focuses on protecting

human, animal and plant life and the importing country from risks arising from

the entry of pests, toxins, diseases and additives (box 17.1). Under the TBT and SPS

Agreements, countries are encouraged to adopt international standards, though

they are given flexibility in introducing more rigid or more lax regulations.