Compliance support infrastructure and services - Netherlands
The Consultative Task Force (CTF) is an open-ended multi-stakeholder forum of government, private sector and NGO representatives that assists developing countries to analyze key trends in environmental requirements (ERs) in export markets and to exchange national experience on pro-active approaches to meeting these environmental requirements in order to maintain market access, harness developmental gains and safeguard social welfare. The added value of the CTF is that it: (i) links policy and capacity-constraints issues aimed at developing a more holistic and development-oriented approach to environmental requirements and market access; (ii) interfaces discussions in the WTO, notably on paragraph 32 (i) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, with other debates at international and national level; (iii) includes voluntary environmental requirements of the private sector and NGOs in the analysis and discussion and thus provides a formal exchange mechanism between these stakeholders and governments; (iv) draws into the discussion stakeholders normally not involved in WTO debates; and (v) allows a regular exchange of information among agencies and initiatives that provide technical and capacity-building assistance in fields relevant to CTF discussions. The work of the CTF was expected, as far as possible, to build on activities implemented by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) in the Netherlands (for example, its Access- Guide) and the Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centre (STIC).
This project was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and ran from 2003 to 2006, with a total budget allocation of approximately €9.3 million. Its objective was to improve the market access of food and agricultural products from developing countries to the European market by enhancing cooperation in the field of quality standards related to health, the environment and veterinary and phytosanitary measures. The project consisted of: (i) country-specific and country-driven assessments of the major opportunities and constraints for trading food and agricultural products to the European market; and (ii) capacity-building and technology transfer, which enabled developing countries to effectively deal with multilaterally agreed standards and with standards related to EU-policy and legislation.
This is a multi-donor facility managed by the WTO Secretariat, to which the Netherlands Government has been contributing since 2004, with a contribution of €1.9 million in 2008 for a period of 4 years up to 2012. The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) assists developing countries to improve their expertise and capacity to analyze and implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.