The standards in the Aquatic Animal Health Code have been formally adopted by the World Assembly of OIE Delegates, which constitutes the organisation’s highest decision-making body. Given the formal recognition of OIE standards, recommendations and guidelines in the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, the Aquatic Code is also a key part of the WTO legal framework for international trade.
The Aquatic Animal Health Code is arranged in 11 sections in addition to the user’s guide and glossary: Section 1 includes chapters on surveillance and notification. Section 2 includes a chapter on import risk analysis. Section 3 includes chapters on the quality of aquatic animal health services. Section 4 includes chapters includes chapters on general recommendations for disease prevention and control. Section 5 includes chapters focused on topics relating to trade measures, import and export procedures and certification. Section 6 includes chapters on the use of antimicrobial agents in aquatic animals. Section 7 includes chapters on the welfare of farmed fish during transport and killing. Sections 8 to 11 include disease-specific chapters for OIE listed diseases of amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and fish, and are designed to prevent the disease in question being introduced into the importing country, taking into account the nature of the commodity, the aquatic animal health status of the exporting country, and the risk reduction measures available.