Advancing with international standards on plant health: The November 2019 IPPC Standards Committee (SC) meeting

Posted on Sat, 30 Nov 2019, 23:00

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Members of the Standards Committee on the first day of the meeting. © FAO

15 November 2019, Rome – The 34th meeting of the IPPC Standards Committee (SC) took place from 11 to 15 November 2019 at FAO headquarters in Rome. The meeting was chaired by Mr Ezequiel Ferro from Argentina. The IPPC Secretary, Mr Jingyuan Xia, gave the opening remarks.

The SC revised the following draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) that have completed the second round of consultations and are being considered for adoption by the 15th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-15) in 2020:

  • 2018 draft amendments to ISPM 5 (Glossary of phytosanitary terms)

  • Revision of ISPM 8 (Determination of pest status in an area)

  • Requirements for NPPOs if authorizing entities to perform phytosanitary actions

  • Requirements for the use of modified atmosphere treatments as a phytosanitary measure

The SC recommended that CPM-15 adopt all the ISPMs except for the one on the authorization of entities; and noted some The SC noted that the concerns of some regions’ regarding their concerns about the concept of authorization. The SC could not reach consensus to recommend the draft ISPM to the CPM-15 (2020) for adoption at this stage and decided to present the concerns regarding the ISPM to the CPM . Nonetheless they revised the draft ISPM based on the consultation comments and proposed a CPM side session to be organized to facilitate the discussion around authorization.

Commodity standards

After looking at the recommendations and proposed governance process, the SC agreed that a Technical Panel be established that would take on coordinating the development of commodity standards under the guidance of the SC. They also reviewed the proposed specification for this panel. Finally, they reviewed the draft ISPM on commodity-based standards for phytosanitary measures and proposed several revisions for the CPM Bureau to consider.

Proposal to reorganize the pest risk analysis (PRA) standards into a suite of standards

The SC considered options for reorganising the PRA standards taking into account the content of IPSM 2 (Framework for pest risk analysis), ISPM 11 (Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests) and the new draft ISPM on Pest risk management. They agreed to submit a paper to CPM-15 (2020) outlining the two preferred options:

  • option 2 (Revision of ISPM 11, section 3 on pest risk management); and

  • option 5 (four standards: an overarching standard on the PRA process and one for each stage of PRA).

Other matters

The SC then discussed the agenda of the 2020 SC-7 meeting; and urgent issues presented by the technical panels. They received updates about the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee’s May 2019 meeting; the CPM Bureau and SPG meetings; the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH); and were briefed on the work of each unit of the IPPC Secretariat.

Mr Ezequiel Ferro, the SC Chairperson highlighted in an interview that the “IYPH in 2020 is an excellent opportunity to the SC and to the IPPC to raise the international community’s awareness of the topics covered by the Commission”. Watch the interview here:

The SC Chairperson ended the meeting by thanking members for their active participation and achieving concrete results.

The final SC report will be posted at:

Watch the interview with the Standards Committee Chair Mr Ezequiel Ferro at

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