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The eighth IPPC Seminar on plant health standards and safe trade facilitation

Posted on Tue, 28 Nov 2017, 10:52

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While trade in plants and plant products stimulates economic growth and brings prosperity to rural communities and agricultural sectors, it is also a pathway for harmful plant pests with potentially devastating consequences for the agriculture, food security and the environment. The international standards developed within the framework of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) are key for countries to harmonize their phytosanitary measures to manage pest risks effectively and trade safely without spreading plant pests.

The eighth IPPC Seminar on plant health standards and safe trade facilitation, organized on 16 November 2017 (FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy) during the week of the meeting of the Standards Committee (SC), demonstrated the link between plant health standards and safe trade. The seminar was opened and chaired by the IPPC Secretary, Mr Jingyuan Xia, and brought together about 50 participants.

The first two speakers, Mr David KAMANGIRA (Senior Deputy Director of Agricultural Research Services in Malawi s Ministry of Agriculture and SC member) and Mr Masahiro SAI (Head of the Information Analysis Section in the Risk Analysis Division of the Japanese Plant Protection Organization and SC member) presented perspectives of their regions, respectively Africa and Asia. They showed how the implementation of IPPC standards at a country or at a region level can be beneficial to safe trade in plants and plant products. They illustrated how important it is for countries to be active in the development and implementation of international standards, and to have all stakeholders engaged.

The third speaker, Mr Nicolaas Maria HORN (Senior Officer Plant Health in the Netherlands Plant Protection Organization and SC member) highlighted how the implementation of a global system for the production and exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates (known as ePhyto) would contribute to the facilitation of safe trade. Such a system, very relevant within the context of the recent World Trade Organization s Trade Facilitation Agreement, would simplify trade in plants and plant products while helping to reduce transaction costs and eliminate fraud.

Finally, Ms Céline GERMAIN (seconded by the French Ministry of Agriculture to the Standard Setting Unit of the IPPC Secretariat) provided concluding remarks and presented potential future perspectives for IPPC standard setting in relation to the facilitation of safe trade, such as the development of: standards for major traded commodities, standards on the use of third party entities, and more phytosanitary treatments related to commodities.

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