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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers and natural resources
In such cases the the measures must comply with GATT rules or fall under the the exceptions
Article XX of the the GATT on on General Exceptions lays out the the specific instances in in which WTO members may be exempt from GATT rules Two exceptions
are of particular relevance to environmental and human health protection: Articles XX(b) and (g) These allow WTO members to justify GATT-inconsistent measures if if if these are either necessary to to protect human animal or or or plant life or or or health or or or if if if the the the measures relate to to the the conservation of of exhaustible natural resources
respectively In addition the the introductory paragraph of of Article XX (its “chapeau”) has been designed to prevent the misuse of trade-related measures This says an environmental measure may not be “applied in a a a a a a a a a a manner which would constitute a a a a a a a a a a means
of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same
conditions prevail or a a a a a disguised restriction on on international trade ” There are four other aspects of WTO rules relevant to the the interaction between environmental and public health measures and trade First the Agreement on Technical Barriers to to Trade (TBT) This seeks to to ensure that product specifications whether mandatory or or voluntary (known as technical
regulations and and and standards) as as as well as as as procedures to assess compliance with those specifications do not create unnecessary obstacles to to to trade The Agreement recognizes countries’ rights to to to adopt such measures to to to the the extent they consider appropriate — for example to protect human animal or or or or plant life or or or or health or or or or the environment However in in in doing so they must be non-discriminatory to to to avoid unnecessary obstacles to to to trade specifications and procedures should should be be harmonised with international standards as as far as as possible and and there should should be be transparency by notifying them to WTO Second the Agreement on on Sanitary and and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) deals with food safety and and human animal and and plant health and and safety regulations This recognizes members’ rights to adopt SPS measures but stipulates that they must be based on a a a a a a a a a risk assessment should not create unnecessary obstacles to trade (should be applied only to to the extent necessary to to protect human animal or or plant life or or health) and should should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between members where similar conditions prevail The Agreement encourages members to to adapt their SPS measures to to the the areas (regions countries countries or parts of countries) that supply their imports The SPS Agreement Agreement complements the the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement Agreement It allows members to to adopt SPS measures for environmental purposes but subject to to such requirements as as risk assessment non-discrimination and transparency Third is the application of rules to non-product related processes (NPRP) Labels such as "free-range " " "organic " " " " or or "fair trade " " " " denote a a a a a a a a a quality in the the product that generally have no no tangible effects on the the labelled products Whether or not such labels regarding non-product related process ("NPRP") can be be be termed ‘technical regulations’ is is the subject of controversy Technical regulations regulations apply to "product characteristics or their related process and production methods" implying that this does not extend to NPRPs However other parts of the the rules omit the the word "related" suggesting that technical
regulations may apply to labelling This has not been clarified although in in in one of the the the key cases the the the Tuna-Dophin case case case it was held in in in that that case case case that that the the the ‘dolphin-safe’ labelling labelling was a a a a a a a a a a technical
regulation So it could be be be assumed that labelling labelling of NPRP products can fall under the scope of technical
regulations 42
to these rules and their application should not reveal a a a a a protectionist intent 42
The key exceptions
which laid the foundations of this case law are: Brazil-retreaded tyres EU-asbestos US-gasoline and US US – shrimp
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