An Expert Working Group met in Melbourne, Australia from 19-23 September 2016 to begin drafting an International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) on the International Movement of Grain (2008-007). The meeting was chaired by Mr Bill MAGEE (Australia) and Mr David HEINRICH (Australia) and attended by 15 participants. Experts from around the world gathered to discuss and decide what elements should be included in this standard; industry representatives were also invited and provided active input to the discussions. Following guidance from the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures to ensure ISPMs contain requirements, the experts strove to reach consensus on requirements for the international movement of grain, and developed a draft standard highlighting the issues that need to be addressed as grain flows through the system from production to export, import and final processing. Some of the major discussion points were related to: 1) whether import and export facilities should be registered; 2) to what extent should the phytosanitary status of the grain be traced back to (producers or points of export); 3) whether it was possible to set specific requirements (e.g. level of foreign matter); 4) sampling methodology and rates; 5) recommendation of specific phytosanitary treatments; 6) whether specific levels of requirements should be indicated or if general guidance was all that is required. As the ISPM for the commodity class “grain” was a highly challenging topic, the experts were not able to agree on many specific requirements nor were they able to conclude the work on the draft ISPM by the end of the week, and decided to continue their work through forum discussions. It is hoped that this draft will be completed in time to be presented to the Standards Committee for their May 2017 meeting for consideration to approve it for consultation in 2017.
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