The Economics of Quarantine and the SPS Agreement

Quarantine cover

edited by Kym Anderson, Cheryl McRae and David Wilson

FREE | 2012 | Ebook (PDF) | 978-1-922064-32-5 | 430 pp

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781922064325

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The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, culminating in the GATT Secretariat being transformed into the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995, has altered forever the process of quarantine policymaking by national governments.

On the one hand, WTO member countries retain the right to protect the life and health of their people, plants and animals from the risks of hazards such as pests and diseases arising from the importation of goods. On the other hand, the WTO’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) requires that quarantine measures be determined in a manner that is transparent, consistent, scientifically based, and the least trade-restrictive.

This collection resulted from an international workshop funded and organised by Biosecurity Australia, the agency of government responsible for analysing Australia's quarantine import risks and for negotiating multilateral SPS rules and less restrictive access to overseas markets for Australian produce. The workshop, which was held at the Melbourne Business School on 24-25 October 2000, brought together a distinguished group of applied economists and quarantine policy analysts whose focus involves regions as disparate as Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and New Zealand, in addition to Australia.