SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES
Article 7.1: Definitions
1. The definitions in Annex A of the SPS Agreement are incorporated into this Chapter and shall form part of this Chapter, mutatis mutandis.
2. In addition, for the purposes of this Chapter:
competent authority means a government body of each Party responsible for measures and matters referred to in this Chapter;
emergency measure means a sanitary or phytosanitary measure that is applied by an importing Party to another Party to address an urgent problem of human, animal or plant life or health protection that arises or threatens to arise in the Party applying the measure;
import check means an inspection, examination, sampling, review of documentation, test or procedure, including laboratory, organoleptic or identity, conducted at the border by an importing Party or its representative to determine if a consignment complies1 with the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of the importing Party;
import programme means mandatory sanitary or phytosanitary policies, procedures or requirements of an importing Party that govern the importation of goods;
primary representative means the government body of a Party that is responsible for the implementation of this Chapter and the coordination of that Party’s participation in Committee activities under Article 7.5 (Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures);
risk analysis means the process that consists of three components: risk assessment; risk management; and risk communication;
risk communication means the exchange of information and opinions concerning risk and risk-related factors between risk assessors, risk managers, consumers and other interested parties; and
1 For greater certainty, the Parties recognise that import checks are one of many tools available to
assess compliance with an importing Party’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
risk management means the weighing of policy alternatives in light of the results of risk assessment and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate control options, including regulatory measures.
Article 7.2: Objectives
The objectives of this Chapter are to:
(a) protect human, animal or plant life or health in the territories of the Parties while facilitating and expanding trade by utilising a variety of means to address and seek to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary issues;
(b) reinforce and build on the SPS Agreement;
(c) strengthen communication, consultation and cooperation between the Parties, and particularly between the Parties’ competent authorities and primary representatives;
(d) ensure that sanitary or phytosanitary measures implemented by a
Party do not create unjustified obstacles to trade;
(e) enhance transparency in and understanding of the application of
each Party’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures; and
(f) encourage the development and adoption of international standards, guidelines and recommendations, and promote their implementation by the Parties.
Article 7.3: Scope
1. This Chapter shall apply to all sanitary and phytosanitary measures of a
Party that may, directly or indirectly, affect trade between the Parties.
2. Nothing in this Chapter prevents a Party from adopting or maintaining halal requirements for food and food products in accordance with Islamic law.
Article 7.4: General Provisions
1. The Parties affirm their rights and obligations under the SPS Agreement.
2. Nothing in this Agreement shall limit the rights and obligations that each
Party has under the SPS Agreement.
Article 7.5: Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
1. For the purposes of the effective implementation and operation of this Chapter, the Parties hereby establish a Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Committee), composed of government representatives of each Party responsible for sanitary and phytosanitary matters.
2. The objectives of the Committee are to:
(a) enhance each Party’s implementation of this Chapter;
(b) consider sanitary and phytosanitary matters of mutual interest; and
(c) enhance communication and cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary matters.
3. The Committee:
(a) shall provide a forum to improve the Parties’ understanding of sanitary and phytosanitary issues that relate to the implementation of the SPS Agreement and this Chapter;
(b) shall provide a forum to enhance mutual understanding of each Party’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures and the regulatory processes that relate to those measures;
(c) shall exchange information on the implementation of this Chapter; (d) shall determine the appropriate means, which may include ad hoc
working groups, to undertake specific tasks related to the functions of the Committee;
(e) may identify and develop technical assistance and cooperation projects between the Parties on sanitary and phytosanitary measures;
(f) may serve as a forum for a Party to share information on a sanitary or phytosanitary issue that has arisen between it and another Party or Parties, provided that the Parties between which the issue has arisen have first attempted to address the issue through discussions between themselves; and
(g) may consult on matters and positions for the meetings of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures established under Article 12 of the SPS Agreement (WTO SPS Committee), and meetings held under the auspices of the Codex Alimentarius
Commission, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the
International Plant Protection Convention.
4. The Committee shall establish its terms of reference at its first meeting and may revise those terms as needed.
5. The Committee shall meet within one year of the date of entry into force of this Agreement and once a year thereafter unless Parties agree otherwise.
Article 7.6: Competent Authorities and Contact Points
Each Party shall provide the other Parties with a written description of the sanitary and phytosanitary responsibilities of its competent authorities and contact points within each of these authorities and identify its primary representative within 60 days of the date of entry into force of this Agreement for that Party. Each Party shall keep this information up to date.
Article 7.7: Adaptation to Regional Conditions, Including Pest- or Disease- Free Areas and Areas of Low Pest or Disease Prevalence
1. The Parties recognise that adaptation to regional conditions, including regionalisation, zoning and compartmentalisation, is an important means to facilitate trade.
2. The Parties shall take into account the relevant guidance of the WTO SPS Committee and international standards, guidelines and recommendations.
3. The Parties may cooperate on the recognition of pest- or disease-free areas, and areas of low pest or disease prevalence with the objective of acquiring confidence in the procedures followed by each Party for the recognition of pest- or disease-free areas, and areas of low pest or disease prevalence.
4. When an importing Party receives a request for a determination of regional conditions from an exporting Party and determines that the information provided by the exporting Party is sufficient, it shall initiate an assessment within a reasonable period of time.
5. When an importing Party commences an assessment of a request for a determination of regional conditions under paragraph 4, that Party shall promptly, on request of the exporting Party, explain its process for making the determination of regional conditions.
6. On request of the exporting Party, the importing Party shall inform the exporting Party of the status of the assessment of the exporting Party’s request for a determination of regional conditions.
7. When an importing Party adopts a measure that recognises specific regional conditions of an exporting Party, the importing Party shall communicate that measure to the exporting Party in writing and implement the measure within a reasonable period of time.
8. The importing and exporting Parties involved in a particular determination may also decide in advance the risk management measures that will apply to trade between them in the event of a change in the status.
9. The Parties involved in a determination recognising regional conditions are encouraged, if mutually agreed, to report the outcome to the Committee.
10. If the evaluation of the evidence provided by the exporting Party does not result in a determination to recognise pest- or disease-free areas, or areas of low pest and disease prevalence, the importing Party shall provide the exporting Party with the rationale for its determination.
11. If there is an incident that results in the importing Party modifying or revoking the determination recognising regional conditions, on request of the exporting Party, the Parties involved shall cooperate to assess whether the determination can be reinstated.
Article 7.8: Equivalence
1. The Parties acknowledge that recognition of the equivalence of sanitary and phytosanitary measures is an important means to facilitate trade. Further to Article 4 of the SPS Agreement, the Parties shall apply equivalence to a group of measures or on a systems-wide basis, to the extent feasible and appropriate. In determining the equivalence of a specific sanitary or phytosanitary measure, group of measures or on a systems-wide basis, each Party shall take into account the relevant guidance of the WTO SPS Committee and international standards, guidelines and recommendations.
2. On request of the exporting Party, the importing Party shall explain the objective and rationale of its sanitary or phytosanitary measure and clearly identify the risk the sanitary or phytosanitary measure is intended to address.
3. When an importing Party receives a request for an equivalence assessment and determines that the information provided by the exporting Party is sufficient, it shall initiate the equivalence assessment within a reasonable period of time.
4. When an importing Party commences an equivalence assessment, that Party shall promptly, on request of the exporting Party, explain its equivalence process and plan for making the equivalence determination and, if the determination results in recognition, for enabling trade.
5. In determining the equivalence of a sanitary or phytosanitary measure, an importing Party shall take into account available knowledge, information and relevant experience, as well as the regulatory competence of the exporting Party.
6. The importing Party shall recognise the equivalence of a sanitary or phytosanitary measure if the exporting Party objectively demonstrates to the importing Party that the exporting Party’s measure:
(a) achieves the same level of protection as the importing Party’s
(b) has the same effect in achieving the objective as the importing
7. When an importing Party adopts a measure that recognises the equivalence of an exporting Party’s specific sanitary or phytosanitary measure, group of measures or measures on a systems-wide basis, the importing Party shall communicate the measure it has adopted to the exporting Party in writing and implement the measure within a reasonable period of time.
8. The Parties involved in an equivalence determination that results in recognition are encouraged, if mutually agreed, to report the outcome to the Committee.
9. If an equivalence determination does not result in recognition by the importing Party, the importing Party shall provide the exporting Party with the rationale for its decision.
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