RAP PUBLICATION: 2000/17
COVER
REPORT OF

REGIONAL TECHNICAL CONSULTATION ON
DRAFT INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR
PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES (ISPMs)


16–18 August 2000

FAO-RAP
Bangkok, Thailand


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REPORT OF REGIONAL TECHNICAL CONSULTATION ON DRAFT INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES (ISPMs)

16–18 August 2000
FAO/RAP, Bangkok, Thailand

1. Introduction

Experts from 16 countries attended the meeting. See Appendix 1 for List of Participants. The meeting was part of the schedule of meetings conducted by the ICPM. The attendance of participants at this meeting was funded by New Zealand APEC Development Fund and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

The objectives of the meeting was to assist governments with consultation; recommendations that can be taken to the ICPM; and report to the IPPC Secretariat.

2. Opening address (Dr. R.B. Singh, FAO ADG/RR)

Dr. Singh welcomed chair, FAO representatives and participants. He thanked the New Zealand Government and the IPPC secretariat for funds helping to make the meeting possible.

Dr. Singh noted that the WTO SPS Agreement requires members to base their standards in the phytosanitary field on international standards, guidelines and recommendations under the international and regional organizations under the framework of the IPPC. The meeting is to discuss to such draft standards. He noted here the opportunity to comment on these drafts and submit recommendations for amendments to the secretariat. See Appendix 2 for copy of Dr Singh's address

3. Welcoming address (Mr. Robert Griffin, Coordinator of IPPC Secretariat)

He thanked participants for attending and mentioned that both draft standards are important to the IPPC and are looking forward to taking them to the ICPM in April for adoption.

TECHNICAL SESSION

Agenda was adopted. See Appendix 3. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Woodmore agreed to act as Rapporteurs.

4. Background on ISPMs (IPPC Secretariat)

Dr. Hedley (ICPM chair) referred participants to the background note (see Appendix 4) which discussed the programme of the ICPM and a number of recent developments.

Dr. Hedley noted that the ICPM needs to actively continue and develop its technical assistance programme. The ICPM also needs to have a strategic and a long-term operational programme. Work is being done to ensure that this is developed to meet members' requirements.

There was some discussion on the constitution on the Standards Committee to be recommended to the ICPM. The FAO regions representational system is used as a basis for the recommendations rather than the RPPOs. Therefore 21 experts (3 from each of the 7 FAO regions) would be involved including 7 to accomplish a detailed examination of draft ISPMs.

5. IPPC Coordinator introduction

Mr. Griffin discussed the context of the international standards for phytosanitary measures. He gave background to the IPPC noting that for about 40 years there was a Convention but no organisation. The IPPC was recognised by the WTO as the standard setting body for phytosanitary matters. The IPPC Secretariat was set up in the 1980s and the international standards for phytosanitary measures started being made in the 1990s.

Mr. Griffin mentioned that the first ten standards were done over the last decade and now six are being brought to completion over 18 months. There are seven draft ISPMs currently under development (regulated non-quarantine pests; non-manufactured wood packaging; system approaches; pest reporting; Citrus canker surveillance; import regulatory systems; inspection methodology).

Mr. Griffin covered the history of the development of the draft standard on ‘Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates’ and the history of the development of the draft standard on ‘PRA for quarantine pests’. See Appendix 5 for copies of the relevant overheads.

6. Output of meeting

It was suggested that a report of the meeting give a brief record of the major subjects discussed and if a point of consensus was reached on a particular issue then the report could reflect this in the form of a recommendation. There could be a separate list of recommendations or they could be incorporated into the text. It was agreed there should be a brief report with recommendations to the Secretariat.

7. ‘Pest Risk Analysis for Quarantine Pests’ - General discussion

7.1 Structure of the standard

It was suggested that the item 2.2 heading should read “Probability of Introduction and/or Spread”.

It was noted that it would be beneficial to have a section prior to the documentation section on consultation. The point was emphasised by Mr Griffin that these are international standards and that internal decisions are the sovereign decisions of individual countries and it may not be the place of an international document to instruct sovereign countries on their internal matters.

Regarding the matter of timeframes for the completion of pest risk analysis, Mr. Griffin noted that while there are no timeframes specified, Annex C of the SPS Agreement states that risk analysis should be completed in a reasonable period of time.

7.2 Linkage with other ISPMs (including drafts)

The linkages with other ISPMs was discussed in length in particularly ISPM 2. It was noted that a decision was made within the ICPM to have a general PRA standard and then have one for quarantine pests and also for non-regulated quarantine pests. All standard are inter-related but there are certain standards that have particular relevance. It was also noted that there are questions over where environmental protection will be addressed within these standards - should there be supplements regarding environmental protection or environmental impact.

It was noted that with regard to any possible future environmental supplement, contracting parties will need to decide how to deal with phytosanitary aspects of GMOs and which agency has the mandate to deal with them. It needs to be carefully weighed whether adding a section on GMOs into the draft standards against getting the standard out and the time frames involved.

It is recommended that the draft standard be adopted as it is with the environmental issues being examined at a later date.

7.3 Relationship between stages

The group queried whether “initiation” was a good name for the first stage and suggests that it should be called something that is more related to the activities undertaken in this section.

It was recommended that Stage 1 be renamed to more accurately reflect the activities listed in this section.

7.4 How much detail should this standard have (general or practical)

It was noted that definitions for terms defined in the definition section of the draft standard are also repeated within the text of the draft standard. The repetition of a number of these definitions was believed to be redundant.

It is recommended that repetition of definitions be removed.

The group discussed the possible addition of a number of terms including: initiation; commodity; pest free areas; pest free production site; first port of entry; expert judgement; species; pre-entry quarantine system; post-entry quarantine system.

8. ‘Pest Risk Analysis for Quarantine Pests’ - Specific discussions

Section: Introduction

This section includes scope, references, definitions and abbreviations, outline of requirements. There was extensive discussion regarding the inclusion and exclusion of specific terms.

Section 1 Stage 1: Initiation

It was noted that section 1.1 used the term ‘regulation’ instead of ‘measure’.

The group discussed the use of the phrase ‘genetically altered’ in section 1.1.2 that they felt was different to the more common ‘genetically modified’.

Section 2 Stage 2: Pest risk assessment

The group discussed what ‘widely distributed’ (section 2.1.1.3) means and the difficulties for large countries and what it means in practice. Mr. Griffin explained that there have been suggestions previously about defining this term and it was difficult to do so and that it will likely need not only a definition but also explanatory text.

The group recommends that the ICPM prepare a supplement to the Glossary on not ‘widely distributed.

Section 2.1 Pest categorization

There was general discussion on the issues regarding the absence of sufficient information and when a pest risk analysis stops.

The group recommended the following changes for section 2.1.2:

  1. That for the sentence which reads “…the PRA process may stop unless further analysis is desired for other purposes” it was suggested that the words “…unless further analysis is desired for other purposes” be deleted from the sentence.

  2. In the final sentence it was suggested that the phrase “the uncertainties should be identified and” be inserted after “In the absence of sufficient information…”.

Section 2.2.1 Probability of entry

The group discussed the difference between ‘transport’ and ‘transit’ in section 2.2.1.3. It was noted that the difference was related to risk and that ‘transit’ may involve higher risks. There was concern expressed over use of ‘transit’ in this section.

The group recommended that the title for section 2.2.1.3 have “or transit removed” in the interest of clarity.

The group considered section 2.2.1.3 and the second dash point and it was noted that the Glossary definition for ‘commodities’ already includes containers and conveyances.

It is recommended that for section 2.2.1.3 in the second dash point, the words “containers, or conveyances” are deleted and that a definition for “commodities” is included in the draft standard.

There was extensive discussion regarding sections 2.2.1.2 and 2.2.1.3 regarding the use of ‘country of origin’ and ‘place of origin’. It was noted that ‘place’ was more specific than ‘country’.

It is recommended that ‘place of origin’ is substituted for ‘country of origin’ in section 2.2.1.3

Section 2.2.2 Probability of establishment

It was agreed that the sub-sections for 2.2.2 should be reordered to follow the sequence set out in the dash points for the section. It was suggested that a dash point for ‘cultural practices and control measures’ be added to the chapeau for section 2.2.2.

It was agreed to clarify section 2.2.2.3.

It was suggested that the phrase “…from causing unacceptable damage.” be used instead of ‘pest status’.

The use of the terms ‘control’ and ‘treatment’ in the second paragraph in section 2.2.2.3 was queried. Participants agreed to recommend that ‘treatment’ should be changed to be ‘control’.

The group discussed the issue of critical population levels in section 2.2.2.4. It was decided to change the wording in minimum populations level.

It was recommended that the sentence could be changed to something along the lines of “Where possible and the information is available.…”.

It was suggested that the second dash point in section 2.2.3 be modified to read “The potential for movement”.

It was agreed to recommend dash points regarding the misuse of a commodity and capability to detect a pest after establishment.

The phrase ‘containment or eradication’ in section 2.2.3 should be reversed to read ‘eradication or containment’ for consistency with the rest of the draft standard.

Section 2.3 Assessment of economic consequences

It was noted that ‘of the direct effect’ should be changed to ‘of the direct effects’ in section 2.3.1.1.

The group discussed the difficulty regarding quantifying probability.

The group recommends that a standard is developed on how to conduct a quantitative risk assessment.

The group felt that ‘changes to producer costs or input demands’ in section 2.3.1.2 could also be clarified. There may be some confusion amongst readers between direct and indirect pest effects regarding control measures and costs.

The mix of effects and factors in 2.3.1.1 was found to be confusing. It was suggested that the factors of biotic/abiotic and rate of spread be taken out and put as a separate sentence at the bottom of this section.

It is recommended that the following sentence be added “Factors which may influence these effects such as biotic and abiotic factors and the rate of spread should also be taken into account”.

It was agreed that “crop losses in yield and grade” be changed to “crop losses in quality and quantity” for section 2.3.1.1

The last dash point for 2.3.1.2 it was suggested that “(e.g. tourism)” be deleted for clarity.

After some discussion of the economic terms used in 2.3.2 it was suggested that a standard economic reference text be added to the references section of the draft standard.

It is recommended that “(other than control measures)” be added to the end of the dash point “changes to producer costs or input demands”.

The group discussed the used of ‘ecologically important loss’ used in section 2.3.3 and noted that ‘ecologically’ should be replaced with ‘environmentally’ to make it more consistent with the rest of the draft standard and not introduce a new term.

For section 2.3.1.1 add to environmental effects an example that reads (“loss of biodiversity”) and similar example for section 2.3.1.2.

Section 2.5 Conclusion of the pest risk assessment stage

The group discussed section 2.5 and wanted it to reflect total or overall risk.

It is recommended that ‘provide a description of the overall risks involved’ replace ‘have been obtained and documented’ in section 2.5.

Section 3 Stage 3: Pest risk management

It was felt section 3 should be reordered so that the existing section 3.2 would come first and next section 3.1 and 3.3 should be combined under the title “risk and its acceptability”. The first sentence in the existing section 3.3 should be deleted.

It was suggested that the order for the sub-sections be changed to 3.4.3, 3.4.2, 3.4.1 and 3.4.4. The group recommended that a section be added under section 3 for ‘options for post-entry quarantine’.

The title for section 3.6.1 should be changed to “listing of regulated pests”. A reference to the new draft standard on pest listing should be added.

Section 4 Documentation of pest risk analysis

It was suggested altering the second sentence of section 4 to read “The whole PRA process from…”.

The group suggested that more details are added to the list in section 4 on uncertainty and problems in doing a pest risk analysis should be included in the documentation.

It was suggested that flowcharts might be appropriate for the draft standard and could be added at a later stage.

9. Discussion on ‘Guidelines for Phytosanitary Certificates’

There were substantial discussions on the following topics: contracting parties versus countries; consignment in transit; country of origin; inspection date; time validity of a certificate; processed products; and other regulated articles.

Section 1.3 Unacceptable certificates

In section 1.3.1, it was noted that grounds for certificates being invalid could include ‘incorrect’ and that ‘uncertified alterations or erasures’ was suggested with the addition of “accepted by the importing country”.

It was suggested that a sentence be added to the end of section 1.3.2 “Exporting countries should have procedures for detecting and preventing the issuance of fraudulent certificates.”

Section 1.4 Additional requirements made by importing countries with respect to - phytosanitary certificates

The issue of language was discussed and the possibility of requiring the phytosanitary certificate to be issued in at least one of the official languages of the FAO was noted. It was agreed to add “this may include one of the official languages of the FAO”.

Section 2 Specific principles and guidelines for preparation and issue of phytosanitary certificates

The group discussed various unsatisfactory aspects of the phytosanitary certificate but recognised these could not be changed at the moment. The IPPC and its amendments are internationally negotiated agreements and because the certificates are annexed to the Convention, it would have to be renegotiated between all contracting parties before any changes could be made. It has been considered desirable that no changes be made until the New Revised Text adopted in 1997 comes into force.

It was suggested that the following be added to section 2: “Countries should use the wording of the model certificates and are encouraged to also follow the general arrangement of sections and items within sections”.

It was proposed to add to the final sentence of section 2 to make it clearer and suggested the sentence read “Where no entry is made or spaces are left blank, the term ‘None’ should be entered or the blank spaces should be blocked out (to prevent falsification).”

It was suggested that ‘accepted botanical terms’ be changed to read ‘scientific names’.

It was noted that the use of new phytosanitary certificate under the New Revised Text was optional until the New Revised Text came into force. Countries have this interim period to prepare for their implementation.

It was suggested that there be an addition “regional economic integration organisations” be added to the text on “…importing contracting parties…” A commitment was made by the IPPC Secretariat to follow-up with the FAO legal office with the use of terminology used in relation to contracting parties.

It was suggested that the sentence “Information provided in this section should be in internationally standardised units and terms.” be added to the section III guidelines.

The official stamp of an NPPO was discussed. It was indicated that the image is important and that it is a singular official stamp of the organisation.

Regarding the text on “Name of authorized officer, date and signature.”, it was suggested that the first sentence be changed to …is typed or hand-written in capital letters.” to be consistent with section 1.4

The group had substantial discussions on the date of issuance. It was proposed that it be altered to read:

“The date is also typed or hand-written in capital letters (where applicable). Although portions of the certificate may be completed in advance, the date should correspond to the date of signature. Certificates should not be post-or pre-dated, or issued after dispatch of the consignment unless bilaterally agreed.

Importing countries may specify the period of time allowed for:

Section 2.2 Phytosanitary certificate for re-export

There was substantial discussion on issuing phytosanitary certificates for re-export. Section 2.2 should be rewritten to make it easier to understand. The group suggested that it be reorganised and reworded into the three sub-sections as follows:

“2.2 Phytosanitary certificate for re-export

2.2.1 Conditions for issuing a phytosanitary certificate for re-export

When a consignment is imported into a country, then exported to another, the NPPO should issue a phytosanitary certificate for re-export (see model). This may still be done if the consignment has been stored, split up, combined with other consignments or re-packaged, provided that it has not been exposed to infestation or contamination by pests. The original phytosanitary certificate or its certified copy should also accompany the consignment.

2.2.2 Conditions for issuing a phytosanitary certificate

If, however, the consignment has been exposed to infestation or contamination by pests, or has lost its integrity or identity, or has been processed to change its nature, or has been grown for a specific time (usually one growing season), before being exported, the NPPO should inspect and issue a phytosanitary certificate and not the phytosanitary certificate for re-export.

2.2.3 Transit

If a consignment is not imported, but passes through a country, in transit without being exposed to infestation or contamination by pests, the NPPO does not need to issue either a phytosanitary certificate or a phytosanitary certificate for re-export. If however, the consignment is exposed to infestation or contamination by pests, the NPPO should issue a phytosanitary certificate. If it is split up, combined with other consignments or repackaged, the NPPO should issue a phytosanitary certificate for re-export.”

Appendix 1

List of Participants

BangladeshMr. Syed Fazlul Karim Dewan
Deputy Director (Quarantine)
Department of Agriculture Extension
Ministry of Agriculture
Farmgate
Dhaka
 Tel:  (880-2) 9131296
Fax: (880-2) 1 (509) 472 7819
E-mail: mom@bdcom.com
ChinaMr. Fuxiang Wang
Deputy Chief
Plant Quarantine Division
National Agro-Technical Extension and Service Centre
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
No.20 Maizidian Street
Beijing 100026
 Tel:  (86-10) 64194524
Fax: (86-10) 64194726
E-mail:wangfuxiang@agri.gov.cn
IndiaMr. Radhey Shyam
Joint Director (PP) & Head, Plant Quarantine Division
Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage
Ministry of Agriculture
New Delhi
 Tel:  91-11-6138362, 3385026
Fax: 91-11-3384182, 6138362
Rep. of KoreaMr. Park Yong-Gun
Inspector
National Plant Quarantine Service
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
433-1 Anyang 6-dong, Anyang
Kyonggi-do 430-016
 Tel:  (82-31) 4461926
Fax: (82-31) 4456934
E-mail: ygpark@maf.go.kr
MalaysiaMr. Mazlan Saadon
Section Head
Legislation and Import Control Section
Crop Protection and Plant Quarantine Division
Department of Agriculture
Jalan Gallagher
50632 Kuala Lumpur
 Tel:  (603) 2983077
Fax: (603) 2983646
E-mail: ppspki@pop.moa.my
MexicoMr. Gustavo Frias
Director of Phytosanitary Regulation
DGSV/CONASAG/SAGAR
Guillermo Perez
Valenzuela 127
El Carmen, Coyoacan
Mexico, D.F. 04100
 Tel:  (52-5) 5545147
Fax: (52-5) 6580696
E-mail: gfrias@sagar.gob.mx
MyanmarU Aung Swe
Senior Scientist
Plant Protection Division, Myanma Agriculture Service
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
Bayintnaung Road, West Gyogone
Insein P.O.
Yangon
 Tel:  (095) 1 640975/663397
Fax: (095) 1 667991
E-mail: mas.moai@mptmail.net.mn
New ZealandDr. John Hedley
National Advisor, International Agreements
Biosecurity Authority
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
P.O. Box 2526
Wellington
 Tel:  (64-4) 4744170
Fax: (64-4) 4744257
E-mail: hedleyj@maf.govt.nz
New ZealandMr. Keawe Woodmore
International Agreements Adviser
International Agreements Group
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
P.O. Box 2526
Wellington
 Tel:  (64-4) 4744170
Fax: (64-4) 4744257
E-mail: woodmorek@maf.govt.nz
PakistanMr. Zafar Ali
Deputy Director
Plant Protection Department
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Food and Agriculture Division)
Jinnah Avenue Malir Halt, Karachi
 Tel:  921 8607, 9218612-15
Fax: 921-8673
E-mail: plant@khi.compol.com
Papua New GuineaMr. Sidney Suma
Import Programme Manager
National Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Authority
PO Box 741
Port Moresby
PeruMs. Delia Pinto Zevallos
Plant Protection Division
Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA)
Psje Zela s/n-Piso 10, Ministerio de Agricultur
Lima 11-Peru
 Fax: (51-1) 4338048
E-mail: adelarosa@senasa.minag.gob.pe
PhilippinesMs. Estrella D. Tuazon
Chief, Plant Quarantine Service
Bureau of Plant Industry
Department of Agriculture
692 San Andres St., Malate
Manila
 Tel:  (632) 5242812/5239132
Fax: (632) 5242812
Sri LankaMr. K.K. Perera
Research Officer
Plant Quarantine Station
Bagdad Gate, Seaport
Colombo 11
 Tel:  (94-01) 327533
Fax: (94-08) 388333
E-mail: dgagri@sri.lanka.net
ThailandMr. Somboon Charoenridhi
Chief of Plant Quarantine Sub-Division
Agricultural Regulatory Division
Department of Agriculture
Hamwongwan Road, Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900
 Tel:  662-5798516
Fax: 662-5794129
E-mail: somboonc@doa.go.th.
VietnamMr. Duong Minh Tu
Deputy Director of Central Plant Quarantine Laboratory
Plant Protection Department (PPD)
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
(MARD)
189B Tayson St.
Dong Da, Hanoi
 Tel:  (84-4) 8513746
Fax: (84-4) 8574719
E-mail: tu@fmail.vnn.vn
Resource Persons: 
ChinaDr. Yan Xu
Chief, PRA Unit
Institute of Animal and Plant Quarantine
State Administration for Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine
241 Hui Xin Li, Chaoyang District, 100029
Beijing
 Tel:  (86-10) 6492 2255 ext. 4806
Fax: (86-10) 64934645
E-mail: xuyan@cnindex.net
NetherlandsMr. M.E. Gussekloo
Head Division
Trade, Import and Export
Plant Protection Service
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries
 Tel:  (31-317) 496650
Fax: (31-317) 426094
E-mail: m.e.gussekloo@pd.agro.nl
FAODr. R.B. Singh
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200
 Tel:  (66-2) 2817928
Fax: (66-2) 2800758
E-mail: RB.Singh@fao.org
 Mr. R. Griffin
Coordinator (International Plant Protection Convention)
Plant Production and Protection Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome
 Tel:  (39 06) 570 53588
Fax: (39 06) 570 56347
E-mail: Robert.Griffin@fao.org
 Prof. Chong-yao Shen
Regional Plant Protection Officer And Executive Secretary of APPPC
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200
 Tel:  (66-2) 281 7844, Ext. 268
Fax: (66-2) 2800445
E-mail: Chongyao.shen@fao.org
FAOMr. P.K. Saha
Technical Officer (Plant Protection)
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200
 Tel:  (66-2) 281 1844 Ext. 253
Fax: (66-2) 280 0445
E-mail: Pijush Kanti.Saha@fao.org
 Ms. Thidakoon Sanudom
Young Professional Officer
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200
 Tel:  (66-2) 2817844 ext. 273
Fax: (66-2) 2800445
E-mail: Thidakoon.Sanudorn@fao.org

Appendix 2

Opening Address
BY

R.B. Singh
Assistant Director-General and FAO regional representative FOR
asia and the pacific

Dr. John Hedley Chair, Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures
Mr. R. Griffin, Coordinator IPPC,
Resource Persons,
Prof. Shen, Mr. Saha
Distinguished participants and FAO colleagues; Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Director-General of FAO, Dr. Jacques Diouf and on my own behalf, I am privileged to extend to you all a warm welcome to this “Regional Technical Consultation on Draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures”. My special welcome to the experts from Mexico and Peru.

FAO/RAP is grateful for the opportunity to host this important meeting and we wish to begin by expressing our thanks to the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) Secretariat for their support and to the Government of New Zealand for the provision of APEC funding to make this meeting possible.

As you know, the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures requires that countries base their sanitary and phytosanitary measures on harmonized international standards or pest risk assessment under the auspices of the IPPC. FAO is pleased to provide the Secretariat of this very important Convention. In this meeting, we are concerned with ensuring that adequate guidance is provided in two key standards drafted under the IPPC and also that the linkages and scope of such standards are appropriate for governments who must frame, formulate, understand and implement them. We must thank the Governments around this table to have deputed you, the leaders in this field, to carve out agreed and harmonized standards for their own good and for the people of the world at large. Friends it is your chance to shape your standards as per your need and aspirations, and I am sure you will make full use of this opportunity.

Needless to assert, trade is a major instrument of food security, poverty alleviation and improved livelihood. But, it must be fair and free from hazards. The SPS Agreement is the way to the twin goals of free and fair trade. In the globalized and liberalized world of today, your responsibilities are thus very high, and I am sure you are all prepared to meet it.

This meeting is responsible for reviewing two of the most important draft standards: (i) Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests and (ii) Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates.

You will recall that under the SPS Agreement, governments may base their phytosanitary measures on international standards or pest risk assessment (PRA). You will also recognize that although the IPPC has a long history as the international reference point for the harmonization of phytosanitary measures, it has only a short history -- less than 10 years -- of standard-setting. This means that most phytosanitary measures put in place by countries today must be justified based on risk assessment. For this reason, the standard on Pest risk analysis provides extremely important guidance to countries.

I understand that in 1995 the IPPC adopted its first standard regarding pest risk analysis -- Guidelines for pest risk analysis -- which became ISPM No.2. Those of you who worked through this process know that a substantial discussion with significant and diverse inputs by many experts was required. However, most countries also had little practical experience with PRA at that time. Since then, it is clear that PRA has developed, evolved, and improved with practice and further study. In addition, the IPPC itself has been amended with some important changes that affect the approach to PRA -- namely the creation of the category of pests known now as regulated non-quarantine pests. The revision of the IPPC and our past experience with PRA provide background for our consideration of a new standard for pest risk analysis.

The other draft, Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates, is also a key standard for the IPPC. You are all aware that the phytosanitary certificate has historically provided the international reference point for the harmonization of phytosanitary measures and was responsible for the WTO turning to the IPPC as the international standard-setting organization recognized in the SPS Agreement. Outside the phytosanitary community, it is the phytosanitary certificate which people and organizations most quickly identify with the IPPC. Nothing is more fundamental to the Convention than the phytosanitary certificate.

I understand that a standard on export certification was completed in 1997 (ISPM No. 7), but recall also that the revision of the IPPC included certain modifications to the model phytosanitary certificates annexed to the Convention. The draft standard you will consider here will be extremely useful for creating a link between the certification systems found in ISPM No. 7 and the new certification forms annexed to the amended Convention.

You may also recall that the FAO Conference Resolution resulting in the adoption of the New Revised Text of the IPPC in November 1997, made provision for the interim use of the new phytosanitary certificates. The IPPC Secretariat has indicated to me that few countries have taken advantage of this interim measure. One reason for waiting may be that countries wish to first have an agreed understanding of the new forms. Therefore the completion and adoption of the draft standard is very timely and should prove useful for encouraging interim use of the new phytosanitary certificates as well as facilitating formal use of the new certificates when the New Revised Text comes into force.

The outcomes of your efforts should be recommendations to the IPPC Secretariat and the Interim Standards Committee concerning specific changes to be considered for the two standards. These comments will be considered by the Standards Committee at its next meeting in November 2000, with the objective of agreeing on amendments for completing the standards to submit to the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures for adoption in April 2001.

I note that both standards you have come to discuss were circulated to governments for consultation early this year. A deadline for comments was originally set for the end of April 2000, but I understand that this deadline has been extended to the end of August to allow countries additional time for comments and to accommodate this meeting. I encourage you to take full advantage of this opportunity to individually and collectively review and comment on the standards, recognizing that your comments need to be with the IPPC Secretariat before the end of the month. Kindly do adhere to the deadline or else there is no use of crying over the spilt milk.

I further note that this meeting represents the first opportunity for the IPPC to organize a regional consultation for standards under government consultation. John Hedley, Chairman of the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures, is strongly supportive of this concept and was instrumental in procuring the funding used to sponsor this meeting. He is also actively promoting more meetings of this nature in Asia and similar meetings in other regions. I also believe such meetings are essential for standard-setting, and I hope that we will have many future opportunities in this regard, but it is up to you to make the best of this opportunity and demonstrate that this is both useful and workable. I assure you that RAP will do everything possible to facilitate your discussions and ensure an enjoyable and productive meeting.

I wish you well in your meeting this week and look forward with great anticipation to the progress you make for the Member governments and IPPC.

Appendix 3

Provisional Agenda

  1. Opening of Session

  2. Adoption of the Agenda

  3. Background on ISPMs (IPPC Secretariat)

  4. Discussion on Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests

  5. Discussion on Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates

  6. Close of Session.

Appendix 4

NOTE FROM JOHN HEDLEY ON ICPM ACTIVITIES

1. Programme of work

Recently, at various meetings, I have taken the opportunity to brief phytosanitary experts on what has been going on and what is expected to happen in the international phytosanitary area. Although you can read much of the following on the IPPC website, it is sometimes more interesting to hear, or read, an individual person's account.

You will recall the heavy programme of work that we set ourselves at the 2nd meeting of the ICPM. It is indeed a heavy programme, but already we have accomplished a great deal.

In December we had a Working Group (WG) on non-compliance.

In February we prepared a draft on pest lists.

In March we initiated the Strategic Plan, considered our Technical Assistance programme, worked on Glossary terms, clarified our understanding of “official control”.

In April we devised a membership system for the Standards committee. A very practical large and small committee membership was drawn up.

In May we completed the draft procedures for the IPPC dispute resolution procedures and held an Interim Standards Committee meeting which approved several standards for consultation.

In June we held a WG meeting to further the drafting of a wood packing treatment standard and an open-ended exploratory meeting to consider the relationships of the IPPC with GMOs, biosafety and invasives.

In July we have had one WG meeting to complete the draft ISPM on Regulated non-quarantine pests and another to draft an ISPM on systems approaches.

Here are a few notes on some of these meetings.

2. ICPM Working Group on the membership of the Standards Committee (SC)

The first major suggestion is that the SC be composed of 21 experts, three from each of the seven FAO regions. This system gives a wide geographical representation using a method that is accepted by FAO members already. The country representatives of each FAO region would meet at an ICPM meeting, present their country nomination (if they make one), discuss the nominations made by all the country members of that region, and then select three experts to become members of the SC. It is recognised that this is a large group but this is meant to allay the concerns of a number of countries that the SC (the CEPM as it was) was some form of secret committee that did not allow enough country experts to participate in the work of developing the standards. A number of twenty-one does allow wide participation.

I should add that the CEPM was quite large with 14 members and that it was not a secret committee. The members had open and frank discussions and worked very conscientiously. To be a member of such a committee, you have to be a bit of a masochist. The amending of draft standards to take account of the concerns of many countries is an exhausting endeavour.

The second major suggestion is that there be a small group of seven members (SC7) taken from the group of 21 (SC21), who are to do the detailed work on the standards. So the standard development process would go something like this:

Thus the 21-member group is for the approval stages of the development process for a standard, while the SC7 acts as a “grunt group”, doing the detailed consideration of the drafts and the comments for amendment submitted by countries. This system provides both a practical workable system and one that allays the concerns of members regarding non-transparency.

3. Interim Standards Committee

The Interim Standards Committee (ISC) considered and approved two draft standards for consultation concerning pest listing and non-compliance notification, additions to the Glossary of Phytosanitary terms including a supplement on official control, and a draft ISPM specification form. The committee also started work on the draft standard on the import regulatory system.

If these proceed through the consultation stage as expected, it means there will be comments on four draft standards plus additions to the Glossary plus a supplement on official control, plus the ISPM specification form to be considered by the Interim Standards Committee in November-December 2000. Hopefully, the ISC will be able to deal with this work and pass all these items to the ICPM in April 2001 for consideration and acceptance.

4. ICPM Working Group on Wood Packing Material

Wood packing is viewed as an extremely important pathway for the spread of forestry pests so the ICPM made the development of this standard a matter of priority. The group worked on extending the draft standard submitted by NAPPO and recommended the application of two “universal” measures to treat wood packing - kiln drying and chemical preservative impregnation. However, before these treatments can be recommended to the ICPM, data that proves the effectiveness of the treatments needs to be collected and approved. This could take some time, because it may not only concern the gathering of data but also require research to be undertaken if data is unavailable. Also, there will need to be a standard drafted to provide guidelines for evaluation of treatments. This itself will not be a simple task. A subgroup has been set up to pursue these matters which will report to the working group in October. All in all, despite the urgent need for this standard for wood packing, it is bound to take some time to prepare.

5. The ICPM Exploratory Open-ended Working Group on Phytosanitary aspects of GMOs, Biosafety and invasives

This is another area that the ICPM considers as of some priority. The working group drew up a series of statements that have clarified the relationship of the IPPC to LMOs/products of modern biotechnology and invasive species. These included a statement on the involvement of the IPPC in protecting the environment, and the clarification of the responsibilities of the IPPC relating to LMOs/products of modern biotechnology and invasives. The meeting also recommended the ICPM produce supplementary PRA documents to deal with pest risks relating to LMOs/products of modern biotechnology and pest risks to the environment. It supported a commitment of the Secretariats of the IPPC and the CBD to liaise more effectively and recommended that phytosanitary government officials undertake more in country liaison with officials of departments with environmental responsibilities.

This meeting really cleared the air for phytosanitary officials present, making it quite clear that the IPPC covers plant pests of environmental concern, and recommending that ICPM members consider, if their governments thought it appropriate, that phytosanitary officials take responsibility under the IPPC for pest considerations relating to the environment. The recommendations regarding the PRA supplements is significant in showing the involvement of the ICPM in the environmental and LMO/products of modern biotechnology areas.

6. Major thrusts

There are four major thrusts that have been of concern to the Bureau and Secretariat.

Firstly, there is the rapid development of standards. These are essential for developing countries so they know what practices and processes are internationally acceptable and can be used as guidelines for their own systems; and developed countries need them to help with solving contentious issues or problems between countries. We are progressing well as you can see from the list of activities. However, if the Secretariat was double the size, we could move a lot faster. The IPPC Secretariat is the equivalent of the Codex Secretariat in principle but not in fact. This needs to change.

Secondly, we need to actively continue and develop our technical assistance programme. The ICPM, with FAO funds and funds from members is ensuring that experts from developing countries attend all the working groups of the ICPM. This is excellent. Also, the regional consultation in the Bangkok premises of FAO on two of the standards in the consultation process in August, funded by an ICPM member, is another method of seeing that developing countries have the opportunity to take part in ISPM consideration and preparatio. The development of the survey questionnaire for assessing needs and priorities is continuing. The ICPM programme needs further consideration and development.

Thirdly, the ICPM needs to have a strategic plan and long-term operational programme. This is on its way. All ICPM members have been asked to comment on the initial draft and the comments will be considered by a working group in October to prepare a proposal for the consideration of the ICPM. I hope that the clear exposition of the plan and programme will enable more countries to take part in the activities of the Interim Commission.

Fourthly, there is the matter of funds. As I noted earlier, we need a larger Secretariat to achieve more - this will require an increased budget for the ICPM. There are a number of ways this can be done. A large increase in the budget from FAO supplied from country contributions, an increase in the ad hoc contributions to the planned programme of the ICPM, the development of a trust fund, etc. The options need to be considered carefully and plans agreed to by members. We have to recognise that we really cannot fund a commission as important as the ICPM with a budget of $1 million per year.

Conclusion

The ICPM will then have a huge agenda to work through in April, 2001. It is hoped that this period of work in 2000, and all the strenuous effort involved, will advance the ICPM programme considerably.

I should add that the Secretariat is working very hard to keep up this heavy work programme. However, the level of work could not be maintained without the help of officials and experts from ICPM members. This input, this cooperation and assistance is much valued by Secretariat and Bureau.

John Hedley
Chairman
ICPM

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