Regional: Promoting Cooperation in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures for Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation

Sovereign Project | 46019-001

Summary

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) engaged a consultant to conduct an assessment of how SPS measures are administered and applied in CAREC countries and the extent to which application of these measures impedes or facilitates trade. A workshop was organized to validate the results of the preliminary assessment and develop a series of next steps to modernize and make more consistent the application of SPS measures regionally. In line with the discussions held, a phased, focused, and incremental approach is proposed. This TA will support the implementation of a dedicated SPS program for CAREC to help expand trade and enhance the competitiveness of growers and producers of goods and commodities subject to SPS measures.

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Project Name Promoting Cooperation in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures for Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation
Project Number 46019-001
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Health - Health system development
Industry and trade - Trade and services
Information and communication technology - ICT industries and ICT-enabled services
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) engaged a consultant to conduct an assessment of how SPS measures are administered and applied in CAREC countries and the extent to which application of these measures impedes or facilitates trade. A workshop was organized to validate the results of the preliminary assessment and develop a series of next steps to modernize and make more consistent the application of SPS measures regionally. In line with the discussions held, a phased, focused, and incremental approach is proposed. This TA will support the implementation of a dedicated SPS program for CAREC to help expand trade and enhance the competitiveness of growers and producers of goods and commodities subject to SPS measures.

The proposed TA will focus on providing initial policy, institutional, and project identification assistance to CAREC countries in modernizing implementation of SPS measures to facilitate trade. The objective is to build the foundations upon which to anchor an agenda for SPS reform in support of trade facilitation in CAREC

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

All countries maintain sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) (SPS) measures to ensure that food is safe for consumers, and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants. These SPS measures can take many forms, such as requiring products to come from a disease-free area, inspection of products, specific treatment or processing of products, setting allowable maximum levels of pesticide residues or limiting the permitted use of additives in food. SPS measures apply to domestically produced food or local animal and plant diseases, as well as to products coming from other countries. Ultimately, SPS measures help to ensure that agricultural commodities are safe for consumers, and to prevent the spread of pests and diseases across borders.

SPS measures, by their very nature, may impose restrictions on trade. All governments accept the fact that some trade restrictions may be necessary to ensure food safety and animal and plant health protection. However, governments are sometimes pressured to go beyond what is needed for health protection and use SPS restrictions to shield domestic producers from economic competition. In the CAREC region, while some SPS measures are imposed for legitimate purposes, others have become an obstacle for importing and exporting firms, thus acting to constrain rather than facilitate trade. When poorly designed and adopted with little consultation with the private sector, SPS measures hurt competitiveness by constraining the ability of companies to outsource key inputs, putting them at a competitive disadvantage in international and regional markets.

The regulatory framework for SPS administration and application remains essentially unreformed since the Soviet era. A strong policy base and regulatory infrastructure for risk-based controls able to complete the transition from the former Soviet system ( state standards', or GOST and sanitary rules and norms', or SanPiN) must be established. To identify legislative, regulatory, and procedural gaps between regulations set out in the SPS Agreement and the existing situation in each CAREC country, regulatory reviews need to be undertaken.

At most CAREC borders, in addition to customs formalities, it is necessary to comply with a range of procedures including animal quarantine and inspection of plants and other agricultural products according to the SPS system in place. Simplification and harmonization of these procedures are at the core of trade facilitation in the CAREC region. SPS agencies should be actively engaged in initiatives designed to rationalize and improve the coordination of border management modernization efforts. It is important to identify key needs, opportunities and good practices to enhance the effective engagement of SPS agencies in collaborative and coordinated border management. In a coordinated border management approach, it is necessary to address the relations among SPS agencies, other border agencies and private stakeholders. Customs and SPS agencies cooperate very little as duties are separately performed and guided by agency mandates. Some countries may combat many of the same pests and diseases attacking crops and livestock regional cooperation can be an effective tool for eradicating common pests and diseases. A regional focus is more efficient and has economies of scale with the sharing of expertise and facilities.

This technical assistance (TA) is designed to support collective and coordinated efforts to improve implementation of SPS measures throughout the CAREC region. The TA will (i) promote concerted reforms and modernization in the SPS area consistent with international standards, and (ii) bridge the gap on knowledge and capabilities of CAREC countries in designing, complying with, and implementing SPS measures.

Impact CAREC governments will increase inter and intra-regional trade in agriculture and food products
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome CAREC governments design and implement coordinated national and regional SPS reform agendas that adopt and apply international SPS measures to facilitate and expand international and intra-regional trade
Progress Toward Outcome TA has been finalized.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Regulatory review of oversight and application of SPS measures in CAREC countries

Inventory of laboratory assets in the region

Research to develop specialized border-crossing points for priority handling of perishables

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Concluding workshop was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic on 26-27 January 2015. The workshop presented RETA findings, conclusions, and recommendations and discussed proposed next steps for ensuring animal and plant health and food safety while facilitating trade expansion among CAREC countries.

Initial draft final report being reviewed.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design An initial analysis of SPS measures was undertaken from 14 January to 9 February 2012 in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) in March 2012. Consultations were held with representatives of each country's Customs Authority, Ministry of Economy and Trade, SPS Enquiry Points (required of WTO member countries), Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The findings and recommendations of the mission and report were discussed during a workshop held in Bangkok on 25- 26 July 2012. All CAREC countries participated and countries that were not visited during the mission made presentations on SPS policies and practices prevailing in their countries.
During Project Implementation

Missions to all CAREC countries were undertaken by the team of consultants to collect data and hold discussions and consultations with SPS agencies.

A final regional validation workshop was held in January 2015 in Bishkek were findings of the study were presented. All CAREC countries participated. The results of the workshop and agreements made on potential work areas will be reported to the CAREC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and Ministerial Conference (MC) in September 2015.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

A team of four international consultants (11 person-months) and two national consultants (10 person-months) will be required to provide advisory and technical services under the TA.

The international consultants will be specialists in the areas of plant health, animal health, and food safety. They will be supervised by ADB's task managers. A lead expert will serve as team leader responsible for coordinating a small team of experts that will work primarily in the field. The reporting requirements will generally include inception, interim, and final reports. In addition to their professional contributions, all consultants and resource persons are to assist ADB in disseminating best practices and supporting high-level policy dialogues through knowledge products such as strategic publications, policy, and strategy papers.

National consultants will be recruited to assist the international consultants by researching and compiling relevant documents and information, translating documents, organizing the concluding conference, and providing administrative and logistical support. The national consultants will have extensive, in-depth regional and local knowledge and good contacts in the areas of SPS and trade facilitation. The national consultants will be supervised by the international consultants and the ADB task managers.

ADB will endeavor to recruit a firm to assemble the consulting team. However, due to the specialized nature of the assignment, it may be necessary to recruit qualified individuals. For recruitment of a firm, the preferred selection method is quality- and cost-based selection, with a quality-cost ratio of 80:20. If no suitable firms can provide the required expertise, consultants may be hired individually. All consultants will be recruited in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time). The proceeds of the TA will be disbursed in accordance with the Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time).

Procurement No procurement of goods and services
Responsible ADB Officer Cristina Lozano
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Public Mgt, Financial Sector and Regional Coop Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 09 Oct 2012
Fact Finding 02 May 2013 to 03 May 2013
MRM -
Approval 18 Jun 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Mar 2015

TA 8386-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
18 Jun 2013 - 18 Jun 2013 31 Dec 2014 30 Jun 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 0.00 60,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 60,000.00 18 Jun 2013 343,862.28

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