General Agreement Significance


The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on the protection of human, animal or plant health was so vague that many countries used „health requirements” as trade barriers. These concerns were taken into account in the rules on multilateral trade relations of the 1994 Uruguay Round, which brought food and agricultural products into the set of international trade rules. It led to the adoption of the SPS Enforcement Agreement (Laws, Regulations and Procedures) and an updated Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (OTC), which ensured fair and effective international trade on the basis of equity and access to global food markets. These agreements should define the conditions for transparency, equivalence, regionalization, harmonisation and national sovereignty when countries establish regulatory measures to ensure food security, consumer protection and plant and animal health. Unjustified health measures as impediments to trade have been discouraged unless such measures have scientific evidence and risk assessment principles. Through the World Trade Organization (WTO), there is a scientifically sound approach to negotiating and resolving conflicts to prevent food security from being an intractable barrier to trade. In 1986, the URUGUAY Round GATT negotiations began, in charge of revising and updating the provisions of the original agreement, in view of the increase in international trade and the globalization of the world economy. The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) ended in 1994, after 7.5 years of negotiations, with the signing of the final deed on 15 April 1994 in Marrakech, Morocco. This issue, known as the „GATT of 1994,” led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995. Among the agreements included in the WTO Treaty is the Agreement on the Application of Health and Plant Health Measures (SPS Agreement), which sets out the basic rules for the protection of human, animal and plant health during international trade (WTO, 1995). Imports from third countries were subject to variable import duties prior to the introduction of the GATT/WTO (WTO) agreement on 1 July 1995. These taxes are now converted into a fixed tariff, payable in euros per tonne or as a percentage of the entry price.

Under the agreement, rates were reduced by an average of 36% compared to the 1986-1988 reference period. In addition, the GATT/WTO agreement provides minimum quotas for access to tariffs at reduced rates of 5% of consumption over the reference period. In addition, the European Union is obliged to grant access to butter originating in New Zealand at a very low rate. This amount is the average amount of Annual exports from New Zealand to the United Kingdom under bilateral agreements during the GTT and WTO base period.