Meeting of the Central Asia-Afghanistan Expert Level Working Group on Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures

May 13, 2019 - May 15, 2019

CLDP will host a Meeting of the Central Asia-Afghanistan Expert Level Working Group on Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 13-15, 2019. The Meeting is in line with the U.S. Government’s technical assistance to Central Asia, aimed to assist in facilitating trade and economic connectivity in and among the countries of Central Asia, and between Central Asia and other countries and regions. To carry out its task, CLDP has organized and supports expert level regional working groups on key trade issues, namely, customs, standards, and SPS measures. The May SPS Meeting will bring together government officials from Central Asia Region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), as well as their colleagues from Afghanistan, Georgia and Ukraine to hear from U.S., and International Standard-Setting Bodies and other government and private sector officials about trade-related benefits of increased access to information on SPS measures and procedures and will work to increase regional integration and cooperation on the safe and efficient trade of agriculture and food products. Meeting in Tbilisi will also provide the opportunity to revisit the innovative main laboratory of the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, which the group toured in 2017. The program will focus on work in three separate channels during breakout sessions:

  • The benefits and importance to traders of notification of plant-related SPS measures, as part of the Phytosanitary Sub-Working Group;
  • Continued work towards the establishment of a regional network of veterinary labs, as part of the Animal Health and Safety Sub-Working Group; and
  • The trade-related advantages for both governments and traders of available information on food safety measures, as part of the Food Safety Sub-Working Group

The anticipated outcomes of the Phytosanitary Sub-Working Group will be the improved capacity of Central Asia governments to identify and notify phytosanitary measures and amendments to relevant fora; increased notification, for WTO members, of phytosanitary measures to the WTO SPS Committee; improved regional awareness of national systems for publication of proposed, amended, or enacted phytosanitary measures; and enhanced coordination amongst government and private sector parties through publication and comment on the development of phytosanitary measures that affect intraregional and international trade.

The Animal Health and Safety Sub-Working Group will aim at the continued preparation for the FAO LMT assessment process, moving closer to the crucial first step towards establishing a regional veterinary network; and increased awareness of the trade burdens of zoonotic disease and emerging trade-related issues in animal safety.

The Food Safety Sub-Working Group will focus on increased capacity of governments in Central Asia to make information on food safety measures publicly available; greater awareness among governments in Central Asia of the trade-facing benefits of information availability; enhanced knowledge among governments of Central Asia of the location where information on food safety measures from each country in Central Asia may be found; increased capacity of governments in Central Asia to work with interested private sector parties in establishing safe and effective food safety measures; and regional cooperation, harmonization, and integration related to the development of food safety measures using or establishing regional best practices.

 

 

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