Systems approaches for phytosanitary certification of seeds as a way to guarantee safe international movement of seeds

Posted on Tue, 12 Oct 2021, 13:15

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©Sebastian Liste/NOOR for FAO

Rome, 7 October 2021.The Expert Working Group for the Design and use of systems approaches for phytosanitary certification of seeds began their virtual meeting to draft an annex to the standard on the international movement of seeds based on the approved Specification 70.

The IPPC international standards for phytosanitary measures or “ISPMs” have provided a basis for the application and harmonization of acceptable and technically justified measures applied in international trade. The ISPM 38 on International Movement of Seeds is no exception. Yet, to manage the pest risk associated with the international movement of seeds, national plant protection organizations and the seed industry are exploring the use of a systems approach to incorporate industry practices that contribute to a reduction in the pest risk associated with seeds.

Currently, the differences in phytosanitary import requirements implemented by countries can result in significant complications in the movement of seeds across borders, particularly in situations such as re-export. Therefore, the intention of this annex is to provide a framework for harmonization of systems approaches and provide guidance to national plant protection organizations on recognition and audit of such systems.

The Expert Working Group will continue to work until 15 October 2021 to finalize the draft Annex with the goal to present it to the Standards Committee in May 2022 where it will be considered for approval for first consultation from 1 July to 31 September 2022.

The meeting report of the Expert Working Group will be available at

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