Safe trade facilitation of plants and plant products by harmonized phytosanitary measures in commodities standards

Publicado on Jue, 11 Oct 2018, 10:51

Key elements of the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC’s) work is to safeguard agriculture and facilitate safe trade. It is known that trade supports economic growth and development, helping to reduce poverty around the world. The 2016 World Trade Organization (WTO) data review shows that world exports of agricultural products increased by approximately 70% since 2006.

enter image description here Source: WTO 2016: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/wts2017_e/wts2017_e.pdf

Significant advances in safe trade facilitation can be made through international standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPMs). The IPPC community is keen to develop and adopt ISPMs for commodities and pathways for the international movement of plants and plant products. In their 2018 annual meeting, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) agreed to establish a focus group to work on this matter.

05 October 2018The IPPC Focus Group on Commodities and Pathways Standards met in FAO headquarters in Rome from 03 to 05 October 2018. Comprising of eight international experts and representatives of various IPPC subsidiary bodies, the Focus Group stressed that these standards will expedite market access negotiations, enhance phytosanitary security and achieve strategic goals of the IPPC and FAO. The Focus Group also emphasized that the harmonization of measures through standards (“ISPMs”) will promote equivalency of measures, optimize efficient use of resources by avoiding redundancy or duplication of requirements. Furthermore, these standards will provide support and assistance to developing countries, by helping to establish and ensure a level of effective risk management and introducing new opportunities to participate in international trade.

The vision for the role and use of commodities and pathways standards was that a concept (“over-arching”) standard, something similar to ISPM 27 and ISPM 28 be adopted by 2021. The specific standards for commodities and pathways would then be part of this concept standard. For this, a new governance process will be required, including the creation of technical panels and the concept of a permanent “steward” to coordinate and support ongoing activities related to the development and maintenance of these standards.

An important element was that these standards would refer to “pests” in a general sense, and the determination of whether a pest is regulated would remain at the discretion of the importing country, based on technical justification These commodities and pathways standards will harmonize pest risk management options for the major pests or major groups of pests associated with a commodity or a pathway. Countries would still be free to negotiate measures for pests of concern not properly covered by the commodity or pathway specific ISPM, if technically justified.

The main outcomes of the Focus Group meeting were presented to the IPPC Strategic Planning Group meeting and the full recommendations will be presented to the CPM-14 in 2019.

The report of the meeting will be available in due course at https://www.ippc.int/en/core-activities/governance/cpm/cpm-focus-group-reports/.

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