Multilateral Monitoring of Food Safety Law in China: The WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM), 2006-2014
Peking University Transnational Law Review, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp 321-410.
90 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014 Last revised: 28 Oct 2015
Date Written: December 29, 2014
Established within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) reviews periodically the trade policies of all WTO Members. The review includes many aspects of food safety regulation. China’s trade policy is reviewed every two years. This paper analyses in detail the reviews of China’s trade policy in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. It focuses in particular on food safety law and types of standards, alignment of domestic standards with international standards, the role of different domestic institutions, transparency and notification of food safety measures under the WTO agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), import and export, and geographical indications (GIs). It concludes that the WTO TPRM can contribute, within its mandate, to reform of Chinese food safety law and improvement of food safety in China. It notes that China has already undertaken substantial reforms of its system for regulating food safety. It recommends that China should continue to participate actively in the TPRM, follow its own path with regard to alignment and learn selectively from other WTO Members and undertake selected reforms in its system of food safety regulation.
Keywords: China, Chinese food safety law, food safety, food standards, Public health, Consumer welfare, World Trade Organization, WTO Law, Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM), SPS Agreement, TBT Agreement.
JEL Classification: D73, F02, F13, I18, K32, K33, L50, L66, N45, N55, O19, Q18
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