IPPC Standards Committee advances with international standards for plant health at its November meeting

Posted on Wed, 24 Nov 2021, 13:53

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Credit: FAO/ Ezequiel Becerra

Rome, 19 November 2021. The Standards Committee (SC) of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) met virtually from 15 to 18 November 2021 to revise draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) to be adopted by the sixteenth session of the Commission of Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-16).The meeting was chaired by Ezequiel Ferro, SC member from Argentina, while Avetik Nersisyan IPPC Officer-in-Charge, gave the opening remarks highlighting the importance of the SC as an overseeing body for standard setting, one of the IPPC core activities established by the IPPC Strategic Framework 2020-2030. He also highlighted some of the key challenges faced today by the IPPC Secretariat, including the absence of a new Secretary, staff reduction, and the need for improving the communication function.

The SC revised four draft ISPMs that have completed the second round of consultations and recommended to submit them for adoption by CPM-16. The ISPMs in question include commodity-based standards for phytosanitary measures, audit in the phytosanitary context, focused revision of ISPM 12 on "re-export", and 2019 and 2020 amendments to ISPM 5.

The SC also revised and approved the Specification 72 on the reorganization of Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) standards. This is a significant milestone in the reorganization of all IPPC standards related to PRA, one of the main activities of the Convention. “We believe the reorganized PRA standards will help countries conduct PRA more effectively. This was possible thanks to the high cooperation between National Plant Protection Organizations, SC members, and the IPPC Secretariat”, said. Masahiro Sai, SC member from Japan and steward for this topic. “Since the next step will start soon, we would like to continue tackling this tough work for reorganizing PRA standards”, he added.

In addition, the SC re-elected David Kamangira from Malawi as its Vice-Chairperson, reviewed the current list of topics for IPPC standards proposed by contracting parties and regional plant protection organizations, and confirmed the result of the decisions taken online by the SC between meetings. Lastly, the SC deliberated on their 2022 draft work plan, discussing the calendar and content of the 2022 meetings besides the permanence of virtual meetings and the possibility of having hybrid meetings to facilitate the participation of members from countries in different time zones.

“This meeting is the last Standards Committee meeting of the year. It has been a busy year for the SC as several virtual focused meetings have been added to our calendar in addition to the two ordinary ones”, said Ezequiel Ferro, SC Chairperson. “Thanks to the active role of the stewards and the work by SC members through the Online Comment System, four draft ISPMs and one Specification have been approved during this November meeting and recommended to the CPM for adoption”, he added and acknowledged the active participation of the contracting parties in submitting comments as well as the SC members for their commitment to fulfil these tasks.

The SC November regular meeting report will be available at: https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/standards-setting/standards-committee/

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