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IPPC Standards Committee worked on draft ISPMs to advance plant health protection

Posted on Mon, 18 Dec 2023, 14:32

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Rome, 13 December 2023. The Standards Committee (SC) of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) met at the FAO headquarters from 13 to 17 November to revise draft International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) to be adopted at the Eighteenth Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-18) in April 2024.

Following the second round of consultations, the SC reviewed and recommended for adoption three draft ISPMs: the draft 2022 amendments to ISPM 5, the draft annex Criteria for evaluation of available information for determining host status of fruit to fruit flies to ISPM 37, and the draft revision of ISPM 4, which was approved in May 2023.

Based on 1300 consultation comments received, the steward for the topic Masahiro Sai highlighted that “some countries called for a holistic revision of the draft reorganized pest risk assessment (PRA) standards, as existing PRA standards have not been reviewed for many years and need to be modernized, thus requiring a new topic submission," The SC discussed this further and decided to pursue a parallel approach to keep revising the draft reorganized PRA standards according to the current specification, until the topic for a holistic revision is submitted. Thus, the Expert Working Group, which could potentially be established in 2025, will be working on the holistic standard, taking into consideration the 2023 consultation comments and the ensuing revised draft reorganized PRA standards.

Recognizing recent changes to SC membership, Chairperson Sophie Peterson said, “We welcome the new members and we thank Samuel Bishop and Chonticha Rakkrai for their contribution to the SC’s work over the years.”

The SC reviewed the recommendations of the Task Force on Topics for the submissions received during the 2023 Call for Topics: Standards and Implementation. The SC recommended ten topics and eight diagnostic protocols to be added to the List of Topics for IPPC Standards (LOT) and revised the priority of six phytosanitary treatments that had been added to the LOT. Moreover, the SC assigned new stewards and assistant stewards to the Technical Panel for Diagnostic Protocols and the Technical Panel on Commodity Standards, (TPCS). The SC agreed on the need to find a new steward for the Technical Panel for the Glossary next year.

The SC further agreed to establish a new small group of SC members to redraft Specification 70 (Design and use of systems approaches for phytosanitary certification of seeds) for consideration at the SC meeting in May 2024. This follows the SC decision in May 2023 to form a small working group of SC members to work on a common understanding within the IPPC community about what systems approaches are and how they are developed.

The SC also considered the changes proposed by the SC-7 to the IPPC Standard Setting Procedure, and other procedures that are annually updated in the IPPC Procedure Manual for Standard Setting. Among the amendments considered was how the TPCS would operate, for which the SC invited the panel and stewards to review the proposed text, as approved by the SC in May 2023, and present it to the next SC meeting in May 2024.

“The SC as a group worked through the priorities and achieved some significant outcomes to support the IPPC community and development of international standards. It was great to hear more voices and contributions to this meeting from each member. I wish to thank everyone for their collective efforts,” concluded Peterson.

The SC November meeting report will be available in due course at: https://www.ippc.int/en/commission/standards-committee/

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