The content and format of the ODI agreement are similar to the SPS Convention. These two agreements promote the application of international standards (harmonization) and the principle of equivalence in the development of non-tariff measures. In implementing these measures, both agreements promote the concepts of non-discrimination and avoidance of unnecessary barriers to trade. The transparency rules are also very similar. The difference between agreements lies mainly in the coverage and the underlying basis of the application of a measure. As a general rule, under the OEE, a measure must be based on a legitimate objective. For example, governments may impose specific requirements on the importation of weapons (national security) or restrict the importation of endangered species (environment) or require that labels on cigarette packages warn consumers of the dangers of smoking (human health). These are all examples of legitimate objectives that governments use as the basis for requirements for imported products. These measures would not fall within the scope of the SPS Convention, as they do not correspond to the definition of an SPS measure as defined in Box 3. Box 3 – The difference between SPS and TBT measures For matters not covered by the above-mentioned organisations, no other standardisation body has yet been recognised by the SPS Committee, although this possibility is allowed under the agreement. Where a Regulation contains both SPS and TBT elements, it should be notified in accordance with the SPS and OE Agreements, preferably indicating the parts of the Regulation covered by the SPS (e.g. B a food safety measure) and the parties covered by the OEE Agreement (e.g. B quality or composition requirements).
Box 3 illustrates the distinction between SPS and TBT measures. When assessing whether the SPS Regulation is likely to have a significant impact on trade, countries should take into account, on the basis of the relevant information available, that all proposed spS measures that meet the above criteria, including general standards and measures affecting bilateral or plurilateral trade, should be notified to the WTO. . . .