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WTO / new publication recommends land-locked developing countries actively participate in Codex


In line with the SPS Agreement, a new World trade Organization (WTO) publication on easing trade bottlenecks recommends land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) actively participate in the standard-setting processes  – under the Codex Alimentarius, the Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention – to ensure that WTO sanitary and phytosanitary standards meet their needs.

The WTO SPS Agreement sets out the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant health standards. SPS measures are technical in nature and countries are often unable to undertake their own risk assessments to establish an appropriate level of protection due to a lack of resources. Implementation and fulfilling the requirements of importing countries can be equally costly especially when requirements differ across borders including “in transit” countries.

The publication indicates maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides as one example where LLDCs have raised concerns, mostly regarding pesticide regulation measures, for products such as bananas, grapes, mangoes, oilseeds and rice, at the WTO. Different maximum reside levels are sometimes applied in the import and transit market creating a particular compliance challenge for LLDCs.

Countries that participate actively in Codex can make an valuable contribution to the standard setting process including establishing pesticide MRLs.

“The Codex Alimentarius Commission, through the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, provides a forum for Codex Members, both developed and developing countries, to discuss and harmonize maximum residue limits for pesticides in food and feed to protect public health and facilitate trade flow,” said Gracia Brisco from the Codex Secretariat.


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Codex and pesticides

Download the WTO publication

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©FAO/Miguel Schincariol / FAO