In 2011, the Global Survey undertaken by the Implementation Review and Support System identified ISPM 8 on Determination of pest status in an area as one of the most essential IPPC standards. The revision of this standard, originally agreed to in 1998, was long overdue to ensure its compatibility with current days’ systems and other IPPC standards since then adopted by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures.
The meeting to revise ISPM 8, which was excellently co-organized by the Vietnamese National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 18 to 23 September 2017, and was chaired by Ms Christina Devorshak (USA). The meeting was opened by Mr Nguyen Quy Duong, Deputy Director-general of the Vietnamese Plant protection Department who highlighted the importance of accurate pest status as the fundament for appropriate and effective phytosanitary measures. He expressed his appreciation for supporting the IPPC by co-organizing the meeting, as this was a means to enhanced collaboration between the NPPO and the IPPC Secretariat. The 15 participants, which included experts from around the world, reviewed the pest status categories of the standard and agreed there should be only two: “absent” and “present”. This meant that the previous category “transient” would now be included in that of “present”. In the discussions, the EWG stressed that a pest is only “absent” if surveillance and other information indicate this, so when the NPPO cannot provide such objective information, the pest status should be “undetermined”. The group also discussed the quality of pest records because countries need to be able to trust the validity of this information, and provided guidance in the standard on evaluating the reliability of such information.
The group also enhanced the standard by clarifying that the determination of the pest status is done by the NPPO responsible for the area concerned, and ensured that the good practices for determining and reporting pest status were explained more in detail.
Lastly, the group aligned ISPM 8 to the draft ISPM 6 on Surveillance, which is currently under revision, to ensure consistency between the two as they are interdependent.
After five full days of intensive discussions, the group went on a field trip to visit the Plant Quarantine office in Hai Phong and the Ha Long Plant Quarantine Check Point, where, on the way, the group enjoyed the breath-taking view of the Ha Long Bay.
The draft revision of ISPM 8 will be presented to the Standards Committee in their May 2018 meeting for consideration and, if approved, will be presented to stakeholders for review and commenting in July 2018. Concomitantly with the proceeding of the draft standard, the Implementation Facilitation Unit of the IPPC Secretariat plans to develop a manual on Pest status.
The IPPC Secretariat wishes to thank the European Commission for providing funding for the organization of this expert working group meeting on the revision of ISPM 8.
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