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   International Affairs - Regionalisation

Regionalization/zoning is a risk management option which is applied within the European Union in a flexible manner, and in the same manner and in accordance with the same principles, the EC can recognise the application of this concept by third countries wishing to export to the European Union. The system therefore requires mutual trust and confidence and is to be applied without undue delay. This is the foundation for minimal negative trade effects hence emphasising that the application of regionalization for SPS measures contributes to meet the provisions of Article 5.6 of the SPS Agreement, i.e. to choose the least trade-restrictive measures possible.

Its value is equally important as it can be very beneficial to many developing countries whose health status is not favourable in the whole territory, but that can nevertheless export their products if from a regionalised area. The EC has often used this technique and has created export opportunities for countries that would normally have little chance to do so to countries with a higher sanitary or phytosanitary level.

The EC contributions to the structured discussion on regionalisation (Informal meeting preceding the regular meeting of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures of January 2006 in Geneva) are available hereafter.

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