As part of the U.S. government’s objective to promote economic expansion and stability in Afghanistan and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) region, CLDP has been supporting the implementation of regional working groups on Customs, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, and Standards. CLDP is organizing the Fifth Meeting of the Central Asia-Afghanistan Regional Expert Level Working Group on SPS Issues to take place in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 13-15, 2017. As discussed with the SPS Working Groups participants at the previous meeting, Pakistan will also be invited to the meeting in Tbilisi as an observer. The Meeting will further the Group’s objective of promoting a coordinated and collaborative approach to solving SPS issues in the region in a timely manner, including by fostering increased knowledge of regional and international SPS principles and practices. The workshop will focus on SPS-related provisions in the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which recently entered into force, and will provide an overview of the Standards and Trade Development Facility partnership in Geneva, as a follow on to the previous meeting at which participants met with representatives of the FAO, the OIE, the IPPC, and the Codes Alimentarius. In addition, meeting in Tbilisi would allow an opportunity to visit Tbilisi Dry Port/Customs Clearance Zones (CCZs) to observe SPS-related customs processing facilities. Specific procedures, such as Georgia’s permitting the obtaining of SPS-related certificates and permits directly at border crossing points and in CCZs could be useful for Central Asian delegates seeking to improve efficiency in their own procedures. The Group will continue to develop recommendations and determinations aimed at improving the efficiency and predictability of SPS procedures at border crossings and to provide at the national and regional levels, including by furthering the projects outlined at the previous meeting, such as developing a proposal to establish a regional network of testing laboratories.
Central Asia-Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Expert Level Working Group on SPS
June 13, 2017 - June 15, 2017