Facilitating Safe Trade

The increasing attention on trade facilitation as a means to stimulate economic growth and competitiveness has generated a renewed focus on SPS measures, how they are applied to imports, exports and transit goods, and the extent to which, if any, these measures unnecessarily increase the costs of doing business. Recent STDF work has sought to identify, analyse and foster dialogue on experiences, lessons and good practices to improve the implementation of SPS controls in way that facilitates safe trade, while minimizing transaction costs. The findings of this work also provide timely inputs to enhance the integration of SPS-related components in broader trade facilitation programmes.

STDF's film "Safe Trade Solutions" takes a look at what Chile, Peru and Colombia have done to make goods flow faster across their borders, while also preventing the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants, and ensuring that food is safe for consumers. 

Policy Brief - Driving Safe Food Trade in the midst of a Food Crisis in Africa : A critical step for the success of the  AfCFTA - 2023

This Policy Brief is a joint product of the Food Trade Coalition for Africa (FTCA), and the STDF. It is based on experiences and lessons of work to build food safety, animal and plant health capacity that facilitates agri-food trade in Africa. 

Briefing - Facilitating safe trade: protecting health, reducing SPS trade costs

A number of good practices exist to improve the implementation of SPS measures in a way that facilitates safe trade. Several governments are already implementing a variety of these solutions in an effort to enable trade to flow more smoothly and quickly. This Briefing highlights some of these opportunities.

Selected practices and experiences in Malawi, South Africa and Zambia 

Learn more in this regional report

Principles and practice in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Thailand

The STDF commissioned research in selected countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and the Philippines) to examine how SPS controls are implemented in practice for selected agri-food products, based on the SPS Agreement, and the standards and guidelines of the international standard-setting bodies (Codex, OIE and IPPC) where applicable. This work aimed to identify experiences and good practices to improve the implementation of SPS controls in way that ensures health protection while, at the same time, keeping transaction costs as low as possible to facilitate trade. The findings of the research work in Southeast Asia, carried out by Kees van der Meer (STDF Consultant) from 2012-13, are documented in a regional report. Individual country reports summarizing the findings for each country are also available: CambodiaLao PDRThailand and the Philippines.

See also the WTO Secretariat background note on the relationship between the SPS Agreement and the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Information on the Trade Facilitation Agreement can be found on the WTO Trade Facilitation webpage. The website of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility is available here