One of the provisions of the SPS Agreement is the obligation for members to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to developing countries, either through relevant international organizations or bilaterally. FAO, OIE and WHO have implemented extensive programmes to assist developing countries in food safety and animal and plant health. A number of countries also have extensive bilateral programmes with other WTO Members in these areas. The WTO Secretariat has organized a programme of regional seminars to provide developing countries (and countries in Central and Eastern Europe) with detailed information on their rights and obligations under this Agreement. These seminars are offered in collaboration with Codex, oie and IPPC to ensure that governments are aware of the role these organizations play in helping countries meet their needs and take full advantage of the SPS Agreement. Interested private business associations and consumer organisations may participate in the seminars. The WTO Secretariat also provides technical assistance through national workshops and to governments through their representatives in Geneva. At the summit The WTO Secretariat prepared this text to help the public understand the SPS Agreement. It is not intended to allow a legal interpretation of the agreement. The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, also known as the SPS Agreement or spS only, is an international treaty of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and entered into force with the establishment of the WTO in early 1995.  Overall, sanitary and phytosanitary measures covered by the Agreement are measures to protect human, animal or plant life or health from certain risks.  Although some developing countries have excellent food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary services, others do not. For them, the requirements of the SPS Convention pose a challenge to improving the health situation of their people, livestock and crops, which can be difficult for some to meet. As a result of these difficulties, the SPS Agreement postponed all requirements, with the exception of those relating to transparency (notification and establishment of en-information points) until 1997 for developing countries and until 2000 for least developed countries. This means that these countries are not required to provide a scientific justification of their sanitary or phytosanitary needs before that date. .