Design and Implementation of Food-Import Related Regulations: Experiences from Some Regional Trade Agreements
This report looks at procedures and processes related to non-tariff measures in agricultural trade. Based on the prior that countries are likely to make efforts to reduce the trade hindering effects of domestic food regulation within regional trade agreements, we focus on three different RTAs, including the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, the EU-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement (and more precisely, the EU-Switzerland Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products), and the EU-Chile Free Trade Association. The paper first compares the texts of these RTAs with the provisions made in the WTO SPS and TBT Agreement and assesses their revealed ambition with respect to avoiding NTM-related frictions in agricultural trade between party countries. Based on a survey covering the countries party to these RTAs, the paper then analyses the way processes in the design and implementation of regulations differ across these countries. It identifies several areas where processes within RTA member countries could potentially inform process developments in other RTAs or at a multilateral level and calls for further research to better understand the empirical implications of such processes.
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