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16. The Committee noted that subsequent to the 4th Session of CCNASWP (May 1996), the governments of Canada and New Zealand had reported on the status of their acceptances of Codex standards and Codex maximum residue limits for pesticides. No other notifications of acceptance had been indicated.

17. It was noted that the 13th Session of the CCGP had had extensive discussions on the revision of the Codex acceptance procedures. It had been agreed that a revised document should be prepared by the Secretariat in light of these discussions in order to establish a simplified system of notification for consideration by the next CCGP session[14].

18. The Committee noted that the current Codex acceptance procedures were not often applied in practice and were probably irrelevant in light of the relevant WTO Agreements. The element of transparency that these procedures were intended to provide in the Codex process had been incorporated to a large degree into these Agreements. The Committee also noted that governments had been notifying the WTO Secretariat of those cases where national standards differed from Codex texts as required by provisions of the SPS and TBT Agreements and therefore, transparency was an integral part of these activities.

19. The Committee noted a comment to the effect that the Acceptance Procedure could also be used as a measure of the relevance of Codex standards or as a means of determining if and when an adopted standard required revision or amendment. In this regard, the Acceptance Procedure could be seen as a means of quality assurance. The Committee suggested however, that other means of quality assurance were available to the Commission and recommended that it was the responsibility of individual Codex committees and/or Codex member governments to ensure the appropriateness and currency of specific provisions in Codex standards and related texts. It was also noted that WTO SPS procedures concerning the monitoring of international standardization activities (Article 12.4) had yet to be determined. The Committee recommended that the Commission, through the Secretariat, request the WTO Secretariat to indicate the availability of information or data which could be of utility to Codex in analyzing the status of the use or acceptance of Codex standards.

20. Consumers International noted the importance to consumers of reducing reliance on, and thus risks from, pesticides, and of incorporating recent science into Codex and national procedures regarding the special vulnerability of children to pesticides and exposure to pesticides with a common mechanism of (toxic) action, and exposures from multiple sources and pathways.

[13] CX/NASWP 98/4
[14] ALINORM 99/33, paras. 42-49

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