International Regulations and Standards Division (IRSD)
Coordinates interagency mon
itoring of sanitary and phytosanitary
barriers to agricultural trade and liaises with international standard
setting bodies in the development of international standards.
As the U.S. Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Enquiry Point for the World
Trade Organization (WTO), the Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of
Scientific and Technical Affairs, International Regulations and Standards
Division (FAS/OSTA/IRSD) is responsible for coordinating with U.S.
regulatory agencies and the U.S. food and agricultural industry U.S.
government comments pertaining to foreign SPS measures notified to the WTO.
These U.S. government comments often make reference to Codex standards and
guidance, and when appropriate, may also reference other international
standard setting bodies, such as the OIE (World Organization for Animal
Health), and the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention). Given the
link between standard setting in Codex, OIE, and IPPC; U.S. obligations
under the WTO SPS Agreement; and FAS/OSTA/IRSD’s role as the U.S. Government
SPS Enquiry Point, FAS/OSTA/IRSD has an active interest in promoting
international standards and standards development that facilitate U.S.
trade. Codex, for example, is an international consensus standard-setting
body comprised of approximately 180 member governments under the auspices of
the United Nations World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations.
International Regulations and Standards Division Staff Responsibilities
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