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This standard[1] provides technical guidance on the specific procedures for the application of ionizing radiation as a phytosanitary treatment for regulated pests or articles. This does not include treatments used for:

- the production of sterile organisms for pest control;
- sanitary treatments (food safety and animal health);
- the preservation or improvement of commodity quality (e.g. shelf life extension); or
- inducing mutagenesis.


Export certification system, 1997. ISPM No. 7, FAO, Rome.

Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates, 2001. ISPM No. 12, FAO, Rome.

Glossary of phytosanitary terms, 2003. ISPM No. 5, FAO, Rome.

Guidelines for Pest Risk Analysis, 1996. ISPM No. 2, FAO, Rome.

International Plant Protection Convention, 1997. FAO, Rome.

Pest Risk Analysis for quarantine pests including analysis of environmental risks, 2003. ISPM No. 11 Rev. 1, FAO, Rome.

Principles of plant quarantine as related to international trade, 1995. ISPM No. 1, FAO, Rome.

The use of integrated measures in a systems approach for pest risk management, 2002. ISPM No. 14, FAO, Rome.


absorbed dose

Quantity of radiation energy (in gray) absorbed per unit of mass of a specified target [ISPM No. 18, 2003]

consignment in transit

A consignment that is not imported into a country but passes through it to another country, subject to official procedures which ensure that it remains enclosed, and is not split up, not combined with other consignments nor has its packaging changed [FAO, 1990; revised CEPM, 1996; CEPM 1999; ICPM, 2002 formerly country of transit]


A type of plant, plant product, or other article being moved for trade or other purpose [FAO, 1990; revised ICPM, 2001]


A procedure rendering plants or plant products incapable of germination, growth or further reproduction [ICPM, 2001]

dose mapping

Measurement of the absorbed dose distribution within a process load through the use of dosimeters placed at specific locations within the process load [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


A device that, when irradiated, exhibits a quantifiable change in some property of the device which can be related to absorbed dose in a given material using appropriate analytical instrumentation and techniques [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


A system used for determining absorbed dose, consisting of dosimeters, measurement instruments and their associated reference standards, and procedures for the system’s use [ISPM No. 18, 2003]

efficacy (treatment)

A defined, measurable, and reproducible effect by a prescribed treatment [ISPM No. 18, 2003]

gray (Gy)

Unit of absorbed dose where 1 Gy is equivalent to the absorption of 1 joule per kilogram
1 Gy = 1


Rendering micro-organisms incapable of development [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


Official visual examination of plants, plant products or other regulated articles to determine if pests are present and/or to determine compliance with phytosanitary regulations [FAO, 1990; revised FAO, 1995; formerly inspect]

ionizing radiation

Charged particles and electromagnetic waves that as a result of physical interaction create ions by either primary or secondary processes [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


Treatment with any type of ionizing radiation [ISPM No. 18, 2003]

minimum absorbed dose (Dmin)

The localized minimum absorbed dose within the process load [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


National Plant Protection Organization [FAO, 1990; ICPM, 2001]


Established, authorized or performed by a National Plant Protection Organization [FAO, 1990]


Any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products [FAO, 1990; revised FAO, 1995; IPPC, 1997]

phytosanitary certification

Use of phytosanitary procedures leading to the issue of a Phytosanitary Certificate [FAO, 1990]

phytosanitary measure (agreed interpretation)

Any legislation, regulation or official procedure having the purpose to prevent the introduction and/or spread of quarantine pests, or to limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pests [FAO, 1995; revised IPPC, 1997; ICPM, 2002]

The agreed interpretation of the term phytosanitary measure accounts for the relationship of phytosanitary measures to regulated non-quarantine pests. This relationship is not adequately reflected in the definition found in Article II of the IPPC (1997).


Pest Risk Analysis [FAO, 1995; revised ICPM, 2001]

process load

A volume of material with a specified loading configuration and treated as a single entity [ISPM No. 18, 2003]

regulated pest

A quarantine pest or a regulated non-quarantine pest [IPPC, 1997]

required response

A specified level of effect for a treatment [ISPM No. 18, 2003]


Officially authorized procedure for the killing, inactivation or removal of pests, or for rendering pests infertile or for devitalization [FAO, 1990, revised FAO, 1995; ISPM No. 15, 2002; ISPM No. 18, 2003]


Treatment with ionizing radiation (irradiation) may be used for pest risk management. NPPOs should be assured that the efficacy of the treatment is scientifically demonstrated for the regulated pest(s) of concern and the required response. Application of the treatment requires dosimetry and dose mapping to ensure that the treatment is effective in particular facilities and with specific commodity configurations. The NPPO is responsible for ensuring that facilities are appropriately designed for phytosanitary treatments. Procedures should be in place to ensure that the treatment can be conducted properly and commodity lots are handled, stored and identified to ensure that phytosanitary security is maintained. Recordkeeping by the treatment facility and documentation requirements for the facility and NPPO are required, and should include a compliance agreement between facility operator and the NPPO stipulating in particular the specific requirements for phytosanitary measures.

[1] Nothing in this standard shall affect the rights or obligations of contracting parties under other international agreements or national legislation, including those applicable to irradiation of food.
[2] The references listed in brackets refer to the definition or revision of the term.

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