Exceptions under the GATT Treaty of 1947, as adopted wholly into the GATT Treaty of 1994 have over the years were subject to substantial degree of debate. The said exceptions are in regards to a comprehensive list of ten conditions to which the contracting party or parties subject to the Treaty can move away from the terms of the rest of the Treaty. This essay will seek to scrutinize the degree to which Article XX is satisfactory to permit the employment of appropriate regulatory action on the part of a WTO member.
Article XX is to the end that it would not be practical and further be unacceptable for any given sovereign states to advocate for free trade over and above other policy trepidations and to further award the WTO dispute resolution system unconditional supremacy in its national policy-making. Article XX is thus to some extent advocating for negotiations for reservations to be applied by the parties with regards to the Treaty. This is in an attempt to safeguard their autonomous rights in a comprehensive list of the fore-mentioned ten policy areas.
On the other hand, SPS Agreements have come up to establish a common and consistent framework for rules that are meant to guide the development as well as the adoption and lastly the enforcement of any measures that are taken to protect human, animal and or plant life or health. These in the Agreement are referred to as the sanitary and or photo-sanitary measures. These have been defined as so as they pertain to issues with regards to food safety and include any measures that may be applied to protect human and or animal life or health that are to be within the territory of member states. These said risks could be those arising from either additive, contaminants, toxins as well as any disease causing organisms that may be present in foods, beverages as well as feedstuffs.
To this end there is the realization that in trying to resolve the issues between country A and B, it is apparent there is need to refer to these principles and rules. These are sovereign states to which end they are subject to the rules and regulations as spelt out by the GATT Treaty as well as the rules set up in the SPS Agreement.
This has been afforded by provision of maneuvers for member states; this is in recognition that if any exception was too lenient it would have a capacity to undermine the core value of the WTO. Signatory states can thus be deemed to respect the GATT through ratification and further by adhering to its exceptions if they do not limit their legitimate acts.
These said exceptions are grouped in three broad areas. The first one is the inherent limit, which is in regards to types of exemptions, secondly are restrictions that are contained in the lettered paragraphs and lastly as explained in the chapeau which has provisions for actions have neither to be arbitrary, nor unjustifiable and thirdly they are to be disguised restrictions with regards to international trade.
There have however been...