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Please note that questions regarding import, export and phytosanitary certificate issues need to be addressed by NPPO contact points. Only they are able to respond to information requests and communicate on phytosanitary issues on behalf of their country. Here is a list of official contact information for NPPOs. Thank you!
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Countries that are not contracting parties to the IPPC and who wish to become so, need to deposit (submit) their instrument of adherence to the IPPC with the Director General of FAO. Download the model instrument of adherence.
The original (including original signature and national stamp) and duly signed Instrument of adherence should be sent to the FAO Director General.Director General of FAO
The original is usually sent through the FAO Representation (FAOR) in the country. If there is no such representation it should be sent through the regional or sub regional FAO representation addressed directly to the Director General of FAO.
Communications regarding the submission of the Instrument of adherence should be copied to:
These are the steps for an Instrument of Adherence to be accepted:
Who signs the letter of adherence to the IPPC is an internal legal issue-essentially it is the person who has legal authority to sign onto conventions on behalf of a country. The instrument of adherence is usually by signed by the Head of State, the Head of the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Minister / Officer who is responsible for signing international treaties on behalf of the government (for example the Minister of Agriculture). Sometimes governments need authority / approval from parliament before they can sign such new conventions.
The list of parties, the dates which they adhered and all declarations and reservations are given on the following publication from FAO s Legal Office: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/legal/docs/1_004s-e.pdf
The International Plant Protection Convention does not require member countries to pay any fees.
Some territories have designated contact points.
The IPPC standard setting procedure was recently amended and adopted at the eleventh session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) in 2016. Details on this procedure as well as some brochures and presentations can be found on the IPP (https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/)
The subsidiary body of the CPM, the Standards Committee (SC), oversees the IPPC standard setting procedure. All meeting reports of the Standards Committee are available at the previous link.
A complete list of topics for draft standards, along with the CPM priorities, is posted on the IPP in all FAO languages. Progress on the development of each topic is also presented in this list.
To assist stakeholders in the understanding of the IPPC standard setting procedure, the IPPC Secretariat developed training materials, which are posted on the IPP (https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/).
Adopted International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) are posted on the IPP IPP (https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/ispms/) in all FAO languages. A complete list of all adopted standards is updated annually and is also made available in all FAO languages (https://www.ippc.int/en/publications/626/).
IPPC contracting parties can participate in the standard setting procedure at all stages: from submission of a topics (draft ISPM proposals), drafting, consultation period and adoption. For ease of reference all relevant standard setting procedures and explanatory notes are presented in the Procedure Manual for Standard Setting which is updated annually.
The Secretariat will no longer be posting the adopted ISPMs as a single book (formerly known as the Book of Standards). Instead, we will only be posting them individually. Here is the complete list of adopted ISPMs.
ISPMs may not be available in all languages for a period of time after CPM. This is because they are revised by FAO translation services as is custom after adoption. In the meantime, should you wish to consult the standards, the non revised language versions can be found under the list of CPM documents.
The standard setting unit of the IPPC Secretariat aims to ensure transparency and inclusiveness for its contracting parties. If you have any question or suggestions please contact the IPPC Secretariat at email@example.com.
The PCE, or Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation, is a management tool designed to help a country to identify both strengths and gaps in its existing and planned phytosanitary systems.
The PCE generates a snapshot of a country’s phytosanitary capacity at a particular time, and provides a framework for rational strategic planning. The PCE allows for the prioritization of activities/resources to fill capacity gaps and enhance the effectiveness of the overall phytosanitary system. Strategic plans developed through the PCE also provides the basis for dialogue with donors of development aid and thus improve the likelihood of access to further funding.
The entire PCE process is under the control of the country, it is not something that is done to a country, it is a framework that the country adopts for its own purposes and benefits.
The PCE is a modular online software system consisting of 13 semi structured questionnaire type modules that can be selected and applied in total or in clusters according to the preferences of the national plant protection organization (NPPO).
The process is implemented through a consensus driven and confidential process amongst concerned stakeholders (public and private) to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the phytosanitary system. The PCE contains strategic planning tools that guide users to develop a strategic framework consisting of logical frameworks for each module which together are used to develop a national phytosanitary action plan (NPAP).
The results are intended to be used by NPPOs, and more broadly by government agencies, as a basis to identify capacity building or infrastructure needs and actions to address them. These are not publicly released unless a country wishes to use or present their PCE results externally. The PCE is designed to be implemented at a pace defined by the country over a number of weeks. The IPPC recommends that a complete PCE be applied every 3-4 years.
The process is driven by staff of the NPPO but should involve non-NPPO representatives from appropriate government agencies, research institutes, universities, agro-industries or import/export associations, etc. The IPPC recommends involvement of a knowledgeable and experienced facilitator.
The PCE can be applied in total or in parts and as frequently as needed. It is a good compliment to the national planning process of the NPPO. When seeking external funds for phytosanitary development it is recommended that the project be formulated on the basis of the results of the PCE.
Some contracting parties are capable of financing the process unilaterally, e.g. from the national budget. In other situations, donors may pay for the application of the PCE. The IPPC does not fund the application of a PCE but works in close collaboration with donors to provide the support for the application of a PCE when requested. In all cases some counterpart resources should be considered and allocated at the national level to undertake planning, stakeholder identification and resource allocation for workshops to support and ensure that the PCE process is successfully completed.
The Implementation Review and Support System (IRSS) is an IPPC project whose primary objective is to facilitate and promote the implementation of the IPPC and ISPMs.
The IRSS seeks to identify the successes and challenges of contracting parties implementation of the IPPC, ISPMs and CPM recommendations and identify and address emerging and potential implementation problems before they become disputes.
The IRSS reviews implementation by undertaking surveys and case studies, convening technical meetings and scanning for emerging issues in plant health.
The review of contracting parties’ implementation can be found on the IRSS Activities webpage, which provides study reports, meeting outcomes, survey results and the project triennial summary reports.
The IRSS provides support to contracting parties' seeking assistance with implementation of the IPPC, ISPMs and CPM recommendations through operation of the IRSS Helpdesk. This offers a Question and Answer Forum open to all plant health professionals, FAQs and links to the Phytosanitary Resources webpage.
Email us including a link to your the data in question.
The Secretariat does not undertake this function on behalf of countries as we do not have the resources to undertake this for countries and we have been advised that if we do this and there are problems with the data, legal liability could then rest with the IPPC Secretariat / FAO.
Please remember the CPM agreement that countries are recommended to use www.ippc.int to disseminate official IPPC information to fulfill their information exchange obligations under the IPPC. The CPM requested the Secretariat to build www.ippc.int so that a single posting would allow all of us to meet all our reporting obligations under the IPPC.
Updating country information can be done exclusively by either the country’s NPPO’s Official Contact Point or a nominated IPP Editor. We encourage you to contact the country’s Official Contact Point and request that this information is added. If you are the Official Contact Point or IPP Editor of the country, we encourage you to upload a copy of this information to your country’s page on the IPPC website. To do this you will need to:
National data can be entered into www.ippc.int country pages by the each country’s Official Contact Point. IPPC Contact Points can also nominate IPP (International Phytosanitary Portal) editors to undertake data entry on their behalf.
To nominate an IPP Editor for your www.ippc.int country page we need to be emailed or faxed a signed IPP Editor Nomination Request for NPPOs form.
Questions regarding import, export and phytosanitary certificate issues need to be addressed by NPPO contact points. Only they are able to respond to information requests and communicate on phytosanitary issues on behalf of their country. Here is a list of official contact information for NPPOs.
Contact information for all contact points is available here. It is also possible to extract this information as a CSV file.
Article VIII.2 of the Convention requires contracting parties to designate a contact point, and therefore it is the contracting party which is responsible for making, and informing the IPPC Secretariat of the nomination.
In practical terms, the IPPC Official Contact Point notification form needs to be completed and signed and then emailed or faxed to the IPPC Secretariat.
The following rules should be respected in a nomination process:
Whenever communication problems are identified, notify the IPPC Secretariat and we will liaise with the NPPO to ensure that the contact information is up-to-date. National contact points are responsible for maintaining their own information up-to-date.
A section at the bottom of all forms for national reporting enables IPPC Contact Points and Editors to directly notify selected recipients whenever they make changes or additions to their NPPO page.
Potential recipients of these notifications include the IPPC Official Contact Point for trading partner nations, representatives of RPPOs, and the IPPC Secretariat. Once selected, recipients will automatically receive an email notifying them when a change has been made to the NPPO webpage along with a link to the part of the NPPO page that has been modified. In this way, the selected recipients are made aware of updates to contact information, the addition of pest reports, the publication of phytosanitary regulations, etc, and this is more consistent with the reporting requirements of the IPPC.
To use the Notification tool, please follow these steps:
An ‘Unofficial contact point’ represents a contracting party but has failed to comply with one of the criteria for the designation of an official contact point (e.g. the IPPC Secretariat was not informed of the change in contact point through someone more senior in the government, more than one person was nominated, the contact point is self-appointed).
Many countries have provided specific answers to the following questions: whether ISPM 15 has been implemented for imports or exports and if so, which version (2002 or 2009); whether wood packaging is regulated differently than outlined in ISPM 15; whether the mark has been registered in the country; where to find national legislation and/or relevant websites; and who to contact for more information regarding ISPM 15.
This information has been compiled into following table.
IPPC contact points are able to respond to information requests and communicate on phytosanitary issues on behalf of their country. Here is a list of official contact information for NPPOs.
Go to the page for ISPM 15 for links to the latest information regarding registration of the symbol.
An explanatory document for ISPM 15:2009 is available on this page.
Explanatory documents for ISPMs are produced as a result of a decision of the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in 2004. They are written to provide supporting information for the standard to which they refer and are not an official legal interpretation of the IPPC or its related documents, and are produced for public information purposes only.
Each document is written by an expert, reviewed by at least two peers (usually from the Expert Working Group concerned), then reviewed by the Standards Committee and the IPPC Secretariat. However, the material presented in explanatory documents remains the opinion of the writer and cannot be interpreted as a decision of the CPM.
The ISPM 15 symbol enjoys a widespread use and recognition worldwide. The symbol has a significant impact on many industries and, consequently, on national economies and at the international level. The symbol, therefore, has great economic value for all, and the potential consequences of failing to protect the ISPM 15 symbol are profound.
Registration provides the highest level of protection for the symbol, and helps shield countries from trade disruptions and related negative economic impacts. In addition, registration is a fundamental part of the common effort of FAO and IPPC signatory countries to ensure effective management of the trade in wood packaging material, to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and diseases that are harmful to plant resources worldwide. Prompt registration will help achieve global ISPM 15 coverage, and ensure phytosanitary security in the global trade system.
Registration through FAO is easy, efficient and convenient for countries because FAO handles all aspects of the registration, as described below.
Failure to register the symbol will undermine the integrity of the entire ISPM 15 system worldwide. The current gaps in registration pose a significant risk from a global plant health perspective, and from legal and commercial standpoints. The fact that some countries do not ensure proper registration creates a risk of opportunistic or malevolent use of the symbol by third parties, with consequent adverse effects on international trade, national economies, and phytosanitary security.
Legally, registration of the mark provides the most complete protection and gives the most effective legal tools should actions against a third party become necessary.
Most national laws require that an entity be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that any product or service bearing a certification symbol like the ISPM 15 meets the required characteristics. Consolidated ownership of the symbol in one entity ensures a consistent management and monitoring of the symbol worldwide.
FAO is an impartial guardian and promoter of phytosanitary security and seeks to ensure countries’ common interest in effective and fair use of the symbol. It is also responsible for administering the IPPC, under which the symbol was developed. By virtue of its ownership of the symbol, FAO fulfills the functions described above, and protects the symbol’s warranty function, thus helping ensure fairness in international trade.
Any country where the symbol has not yet been registered should do so.
As endorsed by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), the registration will be handled by FAO.
The CPM has planned that all outstanding registrations should be completed within a period of five years. During this timeframe, FAO will process individual registrations gradually, in accordance with a set of criteria established by the IPPC Secretariat. FAO will inform countries when it initiates the registration process for them. It will then handle all administrative and legal procedures required for registration, until completion. FAO will notify the concerned country when the registration process is over.
Expiry of the symbol’s registration means that the legal protection for the symbol no longer exists.
Renewing the symbol’s registration will ensure the benefits described above continue to apply, thus ensuring continuity, fairness and efficiency in international trade, and increased phytosanitary security worldwide.
The cost of registration and/or renewal varies from country to country. Upon request, or through the reimbursement process (see below), FAO will provide information about the cost to the country.
The CPM has encouraged countries to reimburse FAO for costs incurred in the process of registering or renewing registration of the ISPM 15 symbol for countries.
At the beginning of the registration or renewal process, FAO will inform them of the corresponding cost and the reimbursement process. They will then have the opportunity to confirm their willingness to reimburse FAO for the costs incurred.
After receiving each reimbursement, FAO will issue an official receipt, if requested.
Please direct any additional queries concerning registration to IPPC@fao.org with subject ISPM 15.
Approval to use the ISPM 15 mark can only be given by a national plant protection organisation or an organisation officially audited and mandated by the NPPO.
The OCS, or Online Comment System, is an online tool that IPPC contracting parties and relevant international organizations can use to insert, share, and submit their comments in a safe and secure online environment. The OCS enables to compile comments with the click of a button and provide data for analysis in a more efficient manner.
The OCS can be used by NPPOs, RPPOs and relevant international organizations having an IPPC contact point.
The OCS ensures confidentiality and safe submission of comments by the IPPC Official Contact Points. It implements a common commenting format and it facilitates inclusivity in the IPPC standard setting process being an efficient, user-friendly and accurate system. Finally, it accelerates and simplifies the compilation process while significantly reducing human error.
You can access the OCS through all major browsers and devices. In order to log in, IPPC Contact Points must possess a Username and Password that have been assigned by the IPPC Secretariat. Once the Username and Password are received via email, visit https://ocs-new.ippc.int/ and insert your log in information. In order to prevent OCS emails from entering junk or spam folder, please add the OCS email address into your email address book.
The IPPC Secretariat only manages OCS user accounts for the IPPC Contact Points. Your Contact Point has already received his/her username and password and can create a user account for you. Please request an account from your Contact Point. Each NPPO has up to five licenses: one (mandatory) “power license” per each contact point; one (optional) “power license” for an OCS Deputy; up to three (optional) “standard licenses” for reviewers.
If you are already an OCS user and have forgotten your password, please go to https://ocs-new.ippc.int/ and click on "Reset password". Enter your email address in the field and click "Send Email". You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. Note that some email systems may consider messages from the IPPC OCS (IPPC-OCS@fao.org ) as spam. If you do not receive the login information please check your email software’s spam folder.
The classification of comments and their definitions are below:
⋅ EDITORIAL: This type of comment clarifies or simplifies the text without changing the meaning. This includes spelling or grammatical corrections, suggestions of different but equivalent words, and simplification of sentence structure.
⋅ SUBSTANTIVE: This type of comment takes into account conceptual changes and the addition of new aspects or ideas. This class of comments contains additions or extensions as well as changes, reorganization of the text or deletions resulting in alteration of the content of a sentence / paragraph / section of the draft. It is that this point is addressed in the revision process in some way.
⋅ TECHNICAL: This type of comment takes into account scientific corrections and technical adjustments. It aims at further clarification and improvement of the standard and sometimes at conformity with other standards from the technical viewpoint. These comments are incorporated unless there is disagreement or some misunderstanding.
⋅ TRANSLATION: This type of comment corrects points that are considered to be inaccurately translated into another language version of the text. General comments can also be sent to comment on the draft document overall.
Either go to the OCS at https://ocs-new.ippc.int/ and click on Contact Us: here at the bottom of the page or send an email to IPPC-OCS@fao.org. More information about the OCS is also available on the OCS resource page on the IPP at https://www.ippc.int/en/online-comment-system/, where you can access the OCS User Manual and other training material.
Here is what we have so far. We are working to develop more advocacy materials for various audiences.