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ASEAN Developing Regional Guidelines on the Implementation of International Standards Related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

7 November 2019

Jakarta, Indonesia – Officials from ASEAN Member States (AMS), Australia and New Zealand responsible for food safety, plant health, animal health sectors gathered in Jakarta for two days, 6-7 November 2019, to participated in a Workshop on Development of ASEAN Regional Guidelines for Implementation of International Standards Related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. This Workshop was part of a project with the same name, currently at Phase II and supported by the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP).

“SPS Measures play a significant role in trade between the AMS and other developed countries, as agricultural and food items, fish and animal products account for a large share of the goods traded. In this trade relations, there is a balance to be maintained between protecting consumers and creating a supportive international environment for animal and plant-based exports from developing countries. This AECSP supported project signifies close cooperation among AANZFTA Parties, through AANZFTA SC-SPS, in facilitating trade in this region,” said Datin Jalil Aliah binti Timin, Director General, Department of Agriculture of Malaysia, ASEAN Co-Chair of the AANZFTA SC-SPS.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Assistant Director for Food, Agriculture and Forestry Division of the ASEAN Secretariat highlighted that the implementation of the SPS agreement and international standards set out by the WTO is one of the crucial factors in the effort to increase agrifood trade in the region. AMS are encouraged to harmonize or base their national measures on international standards guidelines and recommendations as developed by international standards setting bodies, OIE, IPPC and Codex.

Phase I of the Project, concluded in August 2018, supported a review of ASEAN implementation of the SPS Agreement and international standards. The Review Report identified a number of challenges faced by AMS in implementing the SPS Agreement and relevant international standards, and recommended a prioritized list of competencies that could be strengthened through the development of ASEAN Regional Guidelines.
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