What is the process of developing and updating the OIE Standards?
The procedures for the development and updating of the Codes are flexible, transparent and fast. An important aspect is that there is a process of continuous improvement of standards considering scientific advances, as well as the adoption ‘fast track’ of new standards when Member Countries urgently need to face new risks to human health and animal health . Each of the 181 Member Countries has the same right as the others to express their opinions and vote on the development and adoption of standards, as well as the responsibility to cooperate with the OIE in this essential task. See the following schedule to understand the process:
JUNE TO JULYComment period
AUGUST OR SEPTEMBERMeeting of the Specialist Commissions
OCTOBERSubmission of proposed standards to member countries
NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARYPeriod of comments
MARCHMeeting of the Specialist Commissions
May: General Session
The World Assembly of Delegates, made up of the Delegates of the Member Countries of the OIE, analyzes and adopts the final drafts of international standards. These drafts have been circulated, have received comments, and their final text has been reviewed from the scientific, legal and editorial point of view.
Except in the cases of texts that require urgent attention, the proposals that contain New standards are adjusted to a two-year cycle. This implies that there are texts in an initial stage of development that will have a first round of comments and will have the possibility of being completed and adopted as standards during the next General Session.
June to July: Comment period
During this period, the OIE Member Countries have the opportunity to evaluate the draft norms that have been circulated, develop comments based on scientific justifications, and they are sent to the OIE Headquarters.
August / September: Meeting of the Specialized Commissions
During this meeting, each Specialized Commission carries out the tasks envisaged by its work program: it examines the comments received up to that date from the Member Countries, of international organizations and other sources, and revises or elaborates chapters and annexes of the Code taking into account such comments. The reports of these meetings contain two types of documents on which comments are requested from the Member Countries:
– Proposals for texts that will be submitted for approval at the next General Session
– Projects of texts in one Initial stage of development, which will be submitted for approval at a future General Session
October: Submission of proposals to Member Countries
The OIE sends the reports of the meetings to the Delegates of the Member Countries, and, if necessary, technical documents to be analyzed. These reports are also published on the OIE website.
November to February: Comments period
During this period, the Member Countries evaluate the proposals of the Specialized Commissions made during the August / September meeting, analyze these documents, generate new comments and send them to the OIE.
March: Meeting of the Specialized Commissions
At the March meeting, each Specialized Commission examines the comments it has received on the reports of the August / September meeting. The comments that involve relatively simple modifications are taken into account and allow the proposed documents to be submitted for approval in May and are left to study more complex comments later.
During the March meeting they are also finalized the projects in progress. The reports of the meetings are sent to the Member Countries and published on the OIE website. Delegates who wish to comment on the proposed texts and suggest ways to improve them should speak at the General Session, when said texts are submitted for approval.