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GATT Essay

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The matter of protecting human health, plant and animal life is not only mentioned in the GATT but also in TBT agreement (Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade), which states in Artilce 2.2 that: “Members shall ensure that technical regulations are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to or with the effect of creating unnecessary obstacles to international trade. For this purpose, technical regulations shall not be more trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective, … Such legitimate objectives are, …; protection of human health or safety, animal or plant life or health, …” The fact that many countries, including US, Canada, …, have recognized turtles as an endangered species and must be protected; the…show more content…
And for that reason, the EU impose a ban for the sake of precaution. However, to impose an SPS measure, members must present a solid ground based on international standard, guidelines or recommendation, as provided by Article 2 of the SPS Agreement: “Members shall base their ... measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations, where they exist, except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement ...” Moreover, in para 2, “...measures which conform to international standards, guidelines or recommendations shall be deemed to be necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and presumed to be consistent with the relevant provisions of this Agreement...” And to assess whether a product is a risk or not, the assessment procedures needed to take place as required in Article 5 of the SPS: “an assessment, as appropriate to the circumstances, of the risks to human, animal or plant life or health, taking into account risk assessment techniques developed by the relevant international organizations ....”. For instance, the Appellate body of WTO in the EC Beef Hormones case has held on risk assessment that: - The risk must be proven, not theoretical - Assessment may go beyond controlled scientific conditions to take account of real risks - It must be based on a specific type of risk, not a general risk of harm - Members do not have to rely on their own assessments if there is one carried out by another
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