Welcome to the joint FAO-UNITAR online course on "Ensuring Agricultural Trade Policy Transparency in the post-Soviet countries"
Course Title: Ensuring Agricultural Trade Policy Transparency in the post-Soviet countries
Course Dates: September 19 to October 14, 2016
Language: The online course will be delivered in Russian language only
Registration Status: CLOSED
This course aims to strengthen knowledge of up to 70 participants and equip them with better understanding of the international instruments, rules, procedures for ensuring agricultural and trade policy transparency in post-Soviet countries.
Content and structure
The course is composed of three modules:
• Module 1: Transparency instruments and procedures
• Module 2: Transparency of agricultural domestic support policy
• Module 3: Transparency of sanitary and phytosanitary measures
Course Fee: None. This course is funded by the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. However, limited slots are available. Please register early to be included in the selection process. The final list of of participants will be decided by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) by allowing equal opportunity to applicants described in the target audience section of the course.
The majority of the post-Soviet countries have been actively pursuing WTO accession after becoming independent states. Eight of the countries are now members (Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Tajikistan), while Azerbaijan, Belarus and Uzbekistan are still negotiating their accession.
Recent international trading agreements have provisions calling on countries to notify others, in advance, about any measures that could affect trade, including trade in agricultural goods, to fully explain them, and provide a means for commenting on them. For example, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (sometimes deliberately) may be unclear and arbitrary.
Transparency is an essential WTO principle stipulating that a country’s policies and regulations affecting foreign trade should be clearly communicated to its trading partners.
Prompt and comprehensive information about the conditions of trade is crucial for agricultural businesses involved in trade in post-soviet countries that are looking for predictability of market access. It is therefore fundamentally important that agricultural trade-related regulations and policies are transparent. The transparency principle is implemented through obligation on publication, notification, and reply to enquiries concerning country’s specific measures, policies or laws by “notifications”; and through the trade policy review mechanism.
Other important benefit of transparency system is country’s right to comment on notifications and obligation of taking into account such comments by notifying member, thus opening dialog between interested parties at the early stage when the amendments to the notified polıcy measure still can be made. Especially, it is very important to learn how to apply this principle and to create effective transparency system on post-soviet space.
This course will assist participants in mastering agricultural support polıcy and SPS transparency toolkit as well as WTO information databases and will benefit them in application of a transparency principle.