The International Committee on Trade Regulations (ICTR) founded in October 2008, is an official committee of INSCA, the International Natural Sausage Casing Association. The ICTR is one of the many benefits of being a member company of INSCA. The mission of the ICTR is to deal with existing or emerging trade barriers around the world and find ways to resolve these barriers in order to achieve global free-trade in natural casings, as stated in the INSCA bylaws, concentrating mainly on two general categories of trade barriers; Veterinary / public health related issues.
The ICTR so far has been made aware of many trade issues around the world; some of which involve issues dealing with animal diseases, chemical and microorganism contaminants, and others which are strictly political.
The following regions are represented by the appointed ICTR delegates: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia & New Zealand, and Asia. The committee meets four times a year, twice in person (annual convention in May and semi-annual meeting of the board in October) and twice through Skype. The ICTR works closely with INSCA’s International Scientific Working Group (ISWG) in order to parlay the scientific research results into legislature that opens free trade and removes economic barriers throughout the regions.
- Hold awareness Seminars to show the scientific research results that INSCA has done and how they should affect import / export regulations.
- Promotion and lobbying efforts at international industry meetings (see report links on INSCA website)
- Elevate the visibility and status of INSCA, and all it represents, with international meat and animal health organizations e.g. IMS, OIE.
- Continue to make important professional contacts with key personnel responsible for international import / export health certification and regulations.
- Encourage and promote member attendance at ICTR meetings to bring forth trade issues in respective trade areas.
- Participate in various international meetings, such as the IMS Animal Care Meeting and the Sustainable Meat Committee.
- Develop and maintain continuous professional contact with relevant individual government trade regulation officials and with officials of bodies, such as the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and International Meat Secretariat (IMS).
- The ICTR has used the available science to facilitate reciprocal agreements for products to be exported and imported in and out of countries.
- The ICTR has met with government officials and has created awareness for pending trade issues in various countries.
- In addition to aiding national and regional associates at their request,the ICTR has aided companies in countries that do not have national casing associations in contacting their governments in lobbying various trade barrier issues.
- The ICTR has expedited export certificates and updates of certificates.
The ICTR consists of: Chairman (appointed by INSCA Chairman with a right to vote), Legal Counsel (De facto), Executive Director (De facto), and appointed regional delegates. Delegates represent a fair balance of regions and need not be specifically linked to any associations although regional association participation is encouraged. Delegates to the ICTR are appointed to the committee on a volunteer basis to serve without restrictions, for a period of one year to be extended by mutual consent and must be members of INSCA as representatives of their respective regions. INSCA members are welcomed and encouraged to attend all ICTR meetings be it bringing forth a trade issue in their country or region or simply for ideas or input.
The ICTR also has an in-house Regulatory Advisor, with an extensive background in international trade regulations and contacts in various governmental trade authorities throughout regions. The Regulatory advisor not only serves the ICTR committee but is available to provide any needed information to member and most non-members inquiries that INSCA receives.
In the event of a trade disruption, Depending on the particular issue, please follow these recommended procedures, not totally and necessarily in this order:
- Notify export country’s Meat or Natural Casings Association of the issue.
- Notify export country’s Competent Authority agency responsible for issuing an export Health Certificate of the issue (It is preferable for the Competent Authority responsible for issuing health certificates to contact their counterpart in the import country’s Competent Authority. INSCA/ ICTR may be able to assist in contacting the relevant Competent Authority)
- Identify import country’s Competent Authority agency responsible for import conditions. Contact or arrange meeting with import country’s agency/representative responsible for import requirements and discuss issue.
- Notify import country’s importer, Casings Association, and meat association. (They may be able to assist by lobbying the import country’s Competent Authority. In any approach to the import country’s Competent Authority, the issue should be clearly and objectively described. Resolution of the particular issue should be explored, and advice for longer term minimization of any future disruptions sought)
- Notify INSCA/ICTR of issue (Fill in form and send to firstname.lastname@example.org ). Clearly identify the reason for the disruption (e.g. stated disease concern, missing Health certificate endorsement, non- acceptance of OIE categorization of a disease, others etc.)
In the event of non- resolution, the Casings associations and INSCA/ICTR should be advised, and a longer term strategy to address the trade disruption considered (e.g. political lobbying in import and/or export countries, refer to OIE Trade Department, consideration of WTO appeal by aggrieved country.)
The ICTR is an entity within INSCA and has no independent authority to take any legal actions in any matter. Its mandate is to strive to promote cohesiveness and facilitation in trade regulations of casings. These efforts will be accomplished by lobbying, communications, and the presentation of science to relevant government authorities and non government entities. In addition, the ICTR will aid regional and/or country associations as requested in their strategic planning, and preparation and presentation to their government authorities of information on practices and/or policies affecting trade in natural casings specific to their country or region.