The foundations and principles of applying sanitary and phytosanitary measures in world trade organization practice
M.S. Popov, A.Yu. Popova
Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Russian Federation, 2/1 Barrikadnaya St., Moscow, 123995
The performed analysis of the rules of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and their application by the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Appellate Body shows that a WTO member country may ban the import of goods if this product has been proven to be hazardous or there are reasonable grounds to assume that the product is hazardous. The requirement to perform risk assessment and the necessity to obtain "significant scientific evidence" are crucial to maintain the balance between the interests of developing international trade and that of human life and health protection. Provided that the import is banned or substantially restricted on a non-discriminatory basis, the importing country has no reasons to fear any significant effects from the ban. Furthermore, even if the ban is later found to be groundless, the importing country has sufficient time to cancel the ban in the absence of any sanctions.