The proper fanctioning of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) depends in part upon three international organizations, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), and the International Office of Epizootics (OIE). The SPS Agreement states that the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards of these organizations are the benchmark international standards for WTO members, and recent WTO decisions demonstrate the importance of international standards in the settlement of WTO disputes involving SPS measures. The Codex, IPPC, and OIE also provide valuable services that benefit the WTO, such as advising developing countries on technical matters concerning SPS issues.

This article describes the roles of these international organizations in the SPS Agreement. It also examines how the new responsibilities given to the Codex, IPPC, and OIE in the SPS Agreement might change these international bodies.





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