Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are used to protect human, animal or plant life or health by preventing the introduction of pests and diseases, and to help ensure that food is safe for consumption. It applies to all industrial and agricultural products.
ASTEP establishes a framework that is intended to help prevent SPS issues from arising. It does this by applying the trade rules in the SPS area set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to trade.
One of ASTEP’s provisions is for a Party to favorably consider accepting the equivalence of each other’s SPS measures. This means that if a regulator from the exporting market can objectively demonstrate that the result of applying its measures achieves the same outcome in the level of protection as the importing market’s measures, no further processes or procedures need be applied.