WTO SPS 분쟁 사례 연구 (Study of WTO SPS Disputes)

250 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2016

See all articles by Minji Kang

Minji Kang

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Date Written: September 13, 2016


Korean Abstract: 과거에는 온전히 국가주권에 속한다고 생각되던 위생검역조치의 정당성 판단이 무역자유화의 흐름에 따라 국제무역 규범하에 놓이게 되면서 WTO 체제하에서는 위생검역조치의 정당성을 ‘위생 및 식물위생조치의 적용에 관한 협정(SPS 협정)’에 따라 판단하고 있다. 그러나 SPS 협정은 이해가 상반된 국가들간 타협의 산물로 모호하게 규정되어 있어 협정의 해석과 적용에 대한 의견이 분분하다. SPS 분쟁 사례 연구를 통해 SPS 협정이 어떻게 해석·적용되고 있는지 분석하여 SPS 협정에 대한 이해를 높이고, 이를 국내 위생검역정책 및 국제통상 정책에 반영할 필요가 있다. 본 연구는 지금까지 WTO 분쟁해결기구에서 다룬 SPS 협정 관련 분쟁 사례를 검토하여 WTO SPS 협정 규범의 해석 및 적용을 분석하였다. 이를 바탕으로 SPS 조치 관련 쟁점 및 동향을 파악하고 정책적 시사점을 모색함으로써 우리나라의 위생검역 및 관련 대응에 활용할 수 있는 참고자료를 제공하고, 향후 학술연구를 위한 기초자료를 마련하고자 하였다.

English Abstract: Although the judgment on the legitimacy of SPS measures fell completely under the state's sovereign rights in the past, it has been placed under international trade regulations due to increased trade liberalization. The WTO agreement judges the legitimacy of SPS measures based on The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the "SPS agreement"). However, the ambiguous regulations of the SPS Agreement make it difficult to identify its original meaning. As the WTO DSB has defined and clarified the meaning of the SPS agreement recently, it would be important to prepare for possible SPS disputes through research on established SPS dispute cases.

This study briefly explains the contents of the SPS agreement and dispute settlement procedures of the WTO SPS, reviews SPS dispute cases handled by the WTO DSB (Dispute Settlement Body), and analyzes the interpretation and application of WTO SPS regulations. Furthermore, it investigates various issues related to SPS measures and identifies the policy implications of the SPS Agreement. The study also intends to provide a reference for Korea's sanitary quarantine policies and to build the basic data for future academic research.

This study deals with the EC-Hormones case (1998), Australia-Salmon case (1998), Japan-Agricultural Products case (1999), Australia-Salmon (21.5) case (2000), Japan-Apples case (2003), Japan-Apples (21.5) case (2005), EC-Biotech Products ("GMOs") case (2006), Canada/U.S.-Hormones Suspension case (2008), U.S.-Poultry case (2010), Australia Apples case (2010), India-Agricultural Products case (2015), U.S.-Animals case (2015), and Russia-Pigs case (2016).

The major issue in the SPS dispute cases so far has been whether the measures are based on risk assessments (§5.1). Additionally, whether the measures are more trade-restrictive than required (§5.6) and whether there are arbitrary or unjustifiable distinctions (§5.5) were often checked too. In recent cases, the WTO DSB reviewed whether the measures are based on international standards (§3.1) and whether the Members recognize the concepts of pest- or disease-free areas and areas of low pest or disease prevalence (§6.2) and ensure that their SPS measures are adapted to the SPS characteristics of the area (§6.1).

The implications that this research holds for Korea are as follow:

Firstly, Korea will try to conduct comprehensive and specific risk assessments to obtain sufficient scientific evidence that demonstrates the measures are based on rigorous and scientific principles. Secondly, it will be necessary to prepare for newly-arising issues such as adaptation to regional conditions and equivalence. Third, there is a need to promote interest and understanding about international standards. Beginning with the publishing and updating of Korean translations for major international standards, it will also be important to actively contribute toward the establishment of proper international standards throughout negotiations, and to ensure that Korea's SPS policies develop in a manner that is in line with these international standards, thus reducing potential trade conflicts with our trade partners. Lastly, as Mega FTAs stipulate similar provisions to the guidelines of the SPS committee and recent decisions of the WTO DSB, it is important to keep an eye on the recent Mega FTAs' SPS Agreement.

The SPS agreement does indeed contribute to the elimination of unreasonable sanitary standards. However, the SPS agreement is overly dependent on the concept of "scientia vincit omnia (scientific panacea)," as the purpose of the SPS agreement is to prevent SPS measures from being used as disguised protectionism. Therefore thorough preparation with respect to scientific evidence is required to introduce and maintain the sanitary-quarantine system. We expect Korea to take objective and proper SPS measures that fully protect human, animal or plant life or health by developing and improving the quarantine system.

Note: Downloadable document is in Korean.

Keywords: WTO, SPS

Suggested Citation

Kang, Minji, WTO SPS 분쟁 사례 연구 (Study of WTO SPS Disputes) (September 13, 2016). KIEP Research Paper No. Policy References-16-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2884493

Minji Kang (Contact Author)

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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