Issues related to trade effects of SPS in ECOWAS

Lack of transparency and clarity

A key principle underlying the SPS Agreement is that countries have the right to decide on measures they deem necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health in their own country. To prevent abuse, however, these measures should be based on scientific principles, should not be maintained without scientific justification and should not be applied in an arbitrary or unjustifiable manner (World Bank, 2005).

Table 2. Geographic destination of West African exports (1996-2001). Compiled from National Accounts of ECOWAS, ECOWAS Handbook of International Trade, ECOWAS website http://www.


Total exports (Million US$)

% of total export trade with


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