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The Last Frontier: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards and Technical Regulations as Non-Tariff Barriers in Intra-African Trade

The Last Frontier: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards and Technical Regulations as Non-Tariff... ONSANDO OSIEMO If non-tariff measures are today's and tomorrow's main obstacles to trade, we need to make sure that the manner in which these measures are addressed contributes to levelling-and not scattering-the playing field.1 I. INTRODUCTION The main objective of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)2 was the facilitation of trade among members through the reduction of tariffs. Between January 1948, when it became applicable, and January 1995, when it was supplanted by the World Trade Organization (WTO),3 the GATT managed, through successive negotiating rounds, to reduce tariffs on industrial products from over 40 per cent, on average, to less than 4 per cent, on average.4 As tariffs decreased with each negotiating round, so did their importance as barriers to trade. Instead, focus shifted to non-tariff barriers to trade.5 It was during the Kennedy LLB (Poona); LLM, PhD (Amsterdam). The author is a legal practitioner in Nairobi, Kenya. 1 See P. Lamy, WTO Director General, farewell statement to the General Council on 24 July 2013', WTO News items (2013), available at http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news13_e/gc_rpt_ 24jul13_e.htm. 2 See the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, reprinted in the Legal Texts, the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

The Last Frontier: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards and Technical Regulations as Non-Tariff Barriers in Intra-African Trade

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2015
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2015.0115
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ONSANDO OSIEMO If non-tariff measures are today's and tomorrow's main obstacles to trade, we need to make sure that the manner in which these measures are addressed contributes to levelling-and not scattering-the playing field.1 I. INTRODUCTION The main objective of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)2 was the facilitation of trade among members through the reduction of tariffs. Between January 1948, when it became applicable, and January 1995, when it was supplanted by the World Trade Organization (WTO),3 the GATT managed, through successive negotiating rounds, to reduce tariffs on industrial products from over 40 per cent, on average, to less than 4 per cent, on average.4 As tariffs decreased with each negotiating round, so did their importance as barriers to trade. Instead, focus shifted to non-tariff barriers to trade.5 It was during the Kennedy LLB (Poona); LLM, PhD (Amsterdam). The author is a legal practitioner in Nairobi, Kenya. 1 See P. Lamy, WTO Director General, farewell statement to the General Council on 24 July 2013', WTO News items (2013), available at http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news13_e/gc_rpt_ 24jul13_e.htm. 2 See the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, reprinted in the Legal Texts, the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2015

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