Sanitary and phytosanitary measures in the SADC region : a South African legal perspective
Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are measures aimed at the protection of human, animal and plant life and health within specified territories from the risks associated with the introduction and spread of pests and diseases through trade. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) developed an agreement on the application of SPS measures. South Africa is a member of both the WTO and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In SADC, SPS measures are provided for in the SADC Sanitary and Phytosanitary Annexure to the Protocol on Trade of 1996. International Standard Setting Bodies (ISSBs) facilitate the effective application of the main elements of the relevant SPS agreements, especially harmonization and equivalence by establishing scientifically justified standards on which members may base their SPS measures. The relevant ISSB’s in terms of SPS measures are the OIE, IPPC and Codex Alimentarius. SPS measures have the potential to become or be used as non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs). The SADC Protocol on Trade 1996 stipulates that policies and measures are to be implemented by members to eliminate existing forms of NTBs. Additionally members may not enforce new NTBs affecting or related to intra-SADC trade. The most relevant South African legislation in the context of SPS measures and this study is as follows: Agricultural Pests Act 36 of 1983, the Agricultural Products Act 119 of 1990; the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act 36 of 1947, the Liquor Products Act 60 of 1989, Meat Safety Act 40 of 2000, Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972, Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 and National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act 5 of 2008. The purpose of this study is to establish to what extent the South African legal framework complies with its obligations in terms of the SADC SPS Annexure to the Protocol on Trade.
- Law