SPS measures consist of laws, decrees, regulations, requirements, and procedures that countries adopt to protect human, animal, or plant life or health against certain risks. These measures generally aim to promote food safety and protect against risks stemming from cross-border spread of contaminants, diseases, and pests affecting animals and plants.
Examples of SPS measures include:
SPS measures apply to domestic foods, local animals, and plants, as well as foreign products. For more information, see Understanding the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
SPS measures can include six broad categories:
In addition, SPS measures cover procedures to verify products meet SPS requirements. For a more comprehensive list of SPS measures, see the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) International Classification of Non-Tariff Measures.
The exporter, or seller, is responsible for complying with all SPS requirements in the target market. Local trade agencies, industry associations, and chambers of commerce may offer newsletters, events, and online platforms for businesses to learn about SPS measures applicable to their products.
Businesses can also use ePing, a joint initiative developed by the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Through ePing alerts, businesses can receive notifications of new SPS requirements on their products and targeted markets or identify existing measures in their database. They can also participate in national forums where businesses and governments collaborate on addressing product and market requirements. Additionally, national enquiry points are notified to the WTO, who can help identify SPS and other trade measures (see the guide on enquiry/contact points).
There may also be specific measures or procedures developed in RTAs (for further information, see the RTA Database).