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The WTO Agreement on Agriculture was concluded in 1994 and aimed to remove barriers to trade and promote transparent market access and the integration of world markets. The agreement is very complicated and controversial; it is often criticized as a tool in the hands of developed countries to exploit weak countries. Some of its aspects are still under negotiation. In the event of disputes over SPS measures, the Panel may request scientific advice, including by convening a technical expert panel. If the panel finds that a country is in non-compliance with its obligations under a WTO agreement, it generally recommends that the country align its measure with its obligations. This could include, for example, procedural changes in the way a measure is applied, a modification or complete deletion of the measure, or simply the elimination of discriminatory elements. The Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN), the European Union, the North American Union, etc. are associations that provide more liberal and transparent access to members` markets to other member countries. This contradicts the objectives of the WTO, which aims to establish a rules-based global trading system with minimal barriers. However, for so many different countries at different stages of socio-economic development, it is almost impossible to agree on a common trade regime. Therefore, countries are putting pressure on a group of like-minded countries and seeking a mutually symbiotic agreement that guarantees a win-win agreement for all participants. In addition, sanitary and phytosanitary measures may be imposed only to the extent necessary for the protection of human, animal or plant health on the basis of scientific information.

However, governments can introduce TBT regulations if necessary to achieve a number of objectives, such as national security or the prevention of fraudulent practices. Given that the commitments made by governments under the two agreements are different, it is important to know whether a measure is a sanitary or phytosanitary measure or a measure subject to the TBT Convention. The two agreements have common elements, including basic non-discrimination obligations and similar requirements for prior notification of proposed measures and the establishment of information offices („en-information points“). However, many material rules are different. For example, both agreements promote the application of international standards. However, under the SPS Agreement, the only justification for not requesting such standards for food safety and animal/plant health protection is the scientific arguments arising from an assessment of potential health risks. On the other hand, under the TBT Convention, governments may decide that international standards are not appropriate for other reasons, including fundamental technological problems or geographical factors. While the SPS Agreement allows governments to maintain adequate sanitary and phytosanitary protection, it reduces the possible arbitrariness of decisions and promotes consistent decision-making. It requires that sanitary and phytosanitary measures be applied for purposes other than to ensure food safety and animal and plant health.

In particular, the agreement shall specify which factors are to be taken into account when assessing the associated risk. Measures to ensure food safety and to protect animal and plant health should be based, as far as possible, on the analysis and evaluation of objective and accurate scientific data. The transparency provisions of the SPS Convention aim to ensure that measures to protect human, animal and plant health are made available to the public and interested trading partners. The agreement requires governments to publish all sanitary and phytosanitary requirements without delay and, at the request of another government, to provide an explanation of the reasons for a particular food safety or animal or plant health requirement. In June 2007, Doha Round negotiations broke down at a conference in Potsdam when a major impasse broke out between the US, the EU, India and Brazil. .

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