Standards or hazards:Environmental compliance and market access concerns for India's marine and agricultural products

Chakraborty, Pavel (2009) Standards or hazards:Environmental compliance and market access concerns for India's marine and agricultural products. Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 12 (1). pp. 85-116. ISSN 1385-2140

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Trade liberalisation and improved access to the world's markets lie at the heart of the sustainable development paradigm, be it growth in aggregate income and its distribution across various economic segments of society, or efficiency in allocation of resources, or even generation of finances for development, and transfer to and application of improved technologies and best practices in developing countries. The establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has led to the expansion and diversification of export opportunities, including diversification into higher value products, and has also intensified the debate over environmental protection measures and international trade. Among the various concerns related to trade and environment, usage of stringent environmental standards such as Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) against trade with developing countries has generated a lot of debate. The application of these standards has led to losses in exports for developing countries in Asia because of difficulties in complying with certain Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures in the import markets. This article aims to address this debate relating to market access, in particular the impact of environmental measures on market access, from an Indian perspective, in the cases of two major-export oriented products: marine and agricultural. The main findings of the article can be outlined as: (i) the environmental measures used by developed countries have hampered India's exports to a certain extent; (ii) most of the standards set by the importing countries in order to maximise their welfare are inconsistent with either the principles of the WTO or with the equivalence clause of SPS; (iii) there is an impending need to upgrade the domestic situation in terms of infrastructure and enforcement of domestic legislation; and (iv) international organisations such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission should be more active against this backdrop in order to set appropriate international standards, in consultation with both the exporting and the importing countries, and also to establish testing facilities, and provide information and advice in connection with sensitive products.

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Journal Article
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Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law
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08 Jul 2019 09:56
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18 Sep 2023 01:37