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Panorama Resources
Current Issue : #2021-2


OIE Observatory

For a better understanding of the implementation of OIE international standards

  • Resources

    Ensuring safe trade in animals and animal products

    Edited by: C. Wolff & A. Hamilton

    World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
    April 2020

    330 pages

    ISSN: 0253-1933
    ISBN: 978-92-95115-56-9

    The intention of this issue of the Scientific and Technical Review is to present a series of articles that assist World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Trade Organization (WTO) Members and the international community interested in trade in animals and animal products to better understand the frameworks created by the WTO trade agreements and OIE international standards, both through the discussion of the theory underpinning these standards/agreements and by providing examples of their implementation.

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    The articles in this issue are available freely by clicking on the titles below.


  • Resources

    Implementation of OIE standards by OIE Member Countries: state of play and specific capacity building needs

    World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

    Technical item presented to the World Assembly of Delegates during the 86th General Session of the OIE, Paris, 20–25 May 2018.

    Author: Sarah Kahn

    16 pages


    This technical item addressed the implementation by Members of the OIE standards for international trade in live animals and animal products. The purpose of the study was to identify and analyse factors that limit implementation of the standards and make recommendations on how the OIE could help Members to overcome these difficulties. The high response rate (80%) shows that the importance of the OIE standards is generally understood and provides confidence regarding the analysis and recommendations in this report. In general, Members expressed a high level of support for the implementation of OIE standards and this is very encouraging. However, some newer and more complex concepts are not well understood and opportunities to implement safe trade are being missed. Key challenges that were reported by a significant number of countries included a lack of technical expertise, outdated veterinary legislation, lack of confidence in applying risk management, lack of transparency, and failure on the part of both importing and exporting countries to respect the OIE standards. Inevitably, political and commercial considerations have an effect on trade policies. It is, therefore, important that OIE Delegates and their staff base their advice on scientific evidence and OIE recommendations to the extent possible, having regard to national legislative and policy frameworks within which they must operate.

    To support the national Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services, the OIE should continue to promote its normative role and to provide communications material that can influence Members’ decision-makers. This is particularly important to avoid non-scientific responses to disease events at the national and global levels. The OIE should also continue its role as advocate for Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services, and the provision of the PVS Pathway, which provides important support to developing countries and is increasingly finding application in developed countries.

    Turning specifically to the uptake of the international standards, nearly all countries saw a need for more training on the OIE standards, including their relationship with the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization. The current arrangements for provision of technical advice, training and networking opportunities should be maintained or increased, with more focus on the specific needs of regions. Expansion of training opportunities through the use of distance learning should be considered. OIE Members are strongly encouraged to consider the application of good regulatory practices as a means to improve the efficiency of their regulatory processes and build sustainable alliances with the private sector. Finally, the OIE initiative to establish an Observatory on the implementation of standards is particularly welcome. This should provide for identification and analysis of the impediments to use of the standards and, importantly, the recommendation of practical solutions.
    [ View the report ]
    [ View the descriptive analysis of the questionnaire ]
    [ View the resolution ]

    DOI of the original report:
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    The OIE Resolution no. 36 of May 2018

    Implementation of OIE standards by OIE Member Countries: state of play and specific capacity building needs


    1. OIE international standards have the objective of improving animal health and welfare, and veterinary public health, worldwide, and taking into account the variable animal health situation of Member Countries, to facilitate safe international trade of live animals and animal products, while also avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers;
    2. In addition to animal health and welfare, and veterinary public health, OIE international standards address the capability of Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services, which need to be supported by effective and transparent legislation, good governance and engagement with the private sector;
    3. The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) requires that members adopt sanitary measures that are non-discriminatory and based on OIE international standards; more restrictive measures should be justifiable, based on scientific evidence and risk assessment;
    4. OIE Member Countries are aware of the importance of the OIE standards and their relevance to national obligations under the WTO SPS Agreement but there are still many instances where sanitary measures are not based on or consistent with OIE standards and this has a negative effect on trust between trading partners and on trade;
    5. The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, and sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities, including Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services, in order that the responsibilities under and interactions between the SPS and TFA Agreements be effectively managed at the national or regional level;
    6. While countries need to consider more systematically OIE international standards in their national legislation and decision making, they also need assurances that these standards are continuously relevant and fit for purpose. Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of OIE international standards is essential;
    7. The Good Regulatory Practices, identified by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), should be used by the OIE and Member Countries to ensure that regulatory processes are effective, transparent and inclusive and provide sustainable results;
    8. Lack of engagement between the public and the private sector is a challenge to the provision of health safeguards at national and international level. Resolution No. 39 adopted by the Assembly in May 2017, at the 85th General Session, promoted the establishment of Public–Private Partnerships to support the achievement of animal health and veterinary public health objectives;
    9. The OIE seeks to improve the adoption and implementation of OIE international standards by all Member Countries.


    1. The OIE continue to advocate that national Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services improve implementation of the OIE international standards, as the foundation for improving animal health, animal welfare, and veterinary public health at the national, regional and international level;
    2. The OIE develop an Observatory to monitor the implementation of its international standards, to increase transparency and to identify constraints and difficulties faced by Member Countries. The design of the Observatory should ensure an efficient and integrated collection, analysis and reporting of information on progress and challenges associated with implementation of OIE international standards by Member Countries in a manner that incentivises increasing harmonisation while maintaining anonymity of the Member Countries;
    3. In addition to monitoring the implementation of the international standards, the Observatory should evaluate the relevance, feasibility and effectiveness of the standards to Member Countries, as a basis to develop a more strategic focus to the OIE standard setting and capacity building work programmes;
    4. The OIE support Member Countries in the implementation of its international standards by providing guidance, organising training workshops and continuing to improve the Pathway for the Evaluation of Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS Pathway) and related tools;
    5. The OIE, through the PVS Pathway, notably the Veterinary Legislation Support Programme, encourage the application of Good Regulatory Practices as defined by the OECD;
    6. OIE Member Countries improve their participation in the OIE standard-setting process, in particular by carrying out effective multi-stakeholder coordination at the national and regional level;
    7. OIE Member Countries commit to improve their implementation of the OIE standards and the key SPS Agreement principles of harmonisation, risk analysis, equivalence, regionalisation, transparency and non-discrimination;
    8. OIE Member Countries should comply with their obligations to notify diseases and, for the purposes of trade, should use the OIE standards, including official OIE disease status;
    9. OIE Member Countries support increased participation of officials who are responsible for setting sanitary measures and negotiating market access in OIE capacity building activities relevant to the international standards;
    10. OIE Member Countries consider, on a voluntary basis and as relevant, requesting PVS Pathway missions, notably missions on Veterinary Legislation and PVS Follow-up missions to evaluate country progress in complying with OIE international standards and recommendations;
    11. OIE Member Countries promote a greater responsibility of the private sector in the implementation of OIE international standards, in particular by facilitating the development of Public–Private Partnerships to provide more efficient and effective approaches to the management of animal health and welfare and veterinary public health.


    (Adopted by the World Assembly of Delegates of the OIE on 24 May 2018
    in view of an entry into force on 25 May 2018)

  • Resources

    Compendium of international organisations’ practices

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    September 2021

    127 pages


    The Compendium of international organisations’ practices brings together the experiences of some 50 international organisations with different mandates, memberships and institutional frameworks. The ultimate objective of the Compendium is to draw lessons from these experiences to improve international rulemaking.

    The document is designed to serve not only all national and international policy practitioners, but also civil society actors, academic experts, private actors, and citizens who seek to understand, benefit from and perhaps even contribute to the international rulemaking process, which is meant to benefit all.

    [ View the document ]
    [ View the key highlights brochure ]

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    International regulatory co-operation

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    July 2021

    65 pages


    Established domestic regulatory frameworks are reaching their limits to cope with today’s increasing cross-boundary policy challenges. Only united action can effectively navigate the rapid growth of economic integration and interdependencies, particularly driven by innovative technologies. Yet, contemporary regulatory frameworks tend to build on national jurisdictional boundaries constraining common solutions to meet the growing transboundary nature of policy challenges. In the aftermaths of global crises, such as the 2008 financial crisis or the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the vulnerabilities of global health, economic and governance systems, it is time for a true paradigm shift towards more systematic consideration of the international environment in domestic regulatory frameworks.

    The OECD best practice principles for regulatory policy provide practical guidance supporting policy makers and civil servants in adapting regulatory frameworks to the interconnected reality. They outline key elements in defining a dedicated whole-of-government strategy and governance structure, embedding international considerations throughout the domestic regulatory design, development and delivery, and leveraging bilateral, regional and multilateral international co-operation on regulatory matters to support national policy objectives. Compiling various ways of international regulatory co-operation and experiences from countries, the OECD best practice principles for regulatory policy provide impetus for policy makers and civil servants in a variety of legal and administrative environments on how to promote quality and resilience of regulatory frameworks in times of an increasingly interconnected world.

    [ View the document ]

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    No policy maker is an island

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    June 2020

    46 pages

    This brief was developed by the OECD Regulatory Policy Division. It discusses how together countries can manage more effective and consistent responses to the COVID-19 crisis and its vast consequences by learning from each other, ensuring the resilience of supply chains and maintaining the interoperability of essential services through international regulatory co-operation.

    [ View the document ]

  • Resources

    OECD study on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Observatory

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    February 2020

    92 pages


    A case study was developed specifically on the design of the OIE Observatory. This OECD study provides an in-depth diagnostic of the rulemaking and governance structure of the OIE and offers tailored recommendations on how the OIE can use its existing institutional framework and information collection mechanisms to set up the OIE Observatory.

    [ View the document ]

  • Resources

    Facilitating trade through regulatory cooperation

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) & World Trade Organization (WTO)
    July 2019

    104 pages


    This publication highlights how the WTO’s Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and the work of their related committees promote opportunities for regulatory cooperation among governments, and ease trade frictions. It demonstrates how members’ notification of draft measures, harmonisation of measures with international standards, discussion of specific trade concerns and other practices help to facilitate global trade in goods. The study also makes recommendations on how to benefit further from the transparency and cooperation opportunities provided by the TBT and SPS Agreements.

    Visit and for more information.

    [ View the document ]

  • Resources

    The contribution of international organisations to a rule-based international system

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    April 2019

    24 pages

    This OECD brochure builds on and syntheses the results of a collective effort of some 50 secretariats of international organisations (IOs) working together since 2014 on the quality of international rulemaking. It highlights key features of the international rulemaking and standard-setting landscape, sheds light on how international rulemaking functions, and identifies areas where both IOs and countries could take steps to improve the results.

    [ View the document ]