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"Americas focused" ISPM 38 Implementation Workshop
Final Report

The Secretariat of the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) and the regulatory and industry stakeholders from its member countries continue their efforts towards effective implementation of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). Very recently (March 5-7, 2019), subject matter experts from the Americas, including plant health regulatory officials, industry, and academia from five countries in the Americas (Canada, United States, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay) and one country in Europe (Switzerland), delivered the “Americas focused” ISPM 38 (International movement of seeds) Implementation Workshop (final Agenda can be seen here) at the main headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) in San Jose, Costa Rica. NAPPO gratefully acknowledges IICA for being an indispensable partner in our efforts towards implementation.

The fifty-three registered participants included representatives from the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) of 13 countries in the Americas (Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Nicaragua, Perú, United States), alongside four Regional Plant Protection Organizations (CAN, COSAVE, OIRSA and NAPPO), the International Seed Federation (ISF), six regional and national seed associations (SAA, CSTA, ASTA, AMSAC, ECUASEM, APISEMILLAS), seven seed industry-related companies and one member from academia. 

The two-and-a-half-day workshop included foundational presentations on the status of seed trade around the world and, more specifically, seed trade in the Americas; reviews of the main sections of ISPM 38 (pest risk assessment, purpose of import, emerging pest risks, pest risk management, inspection and sampling, diagnostics, systems approaches, accreditation and audits); and several candid discussion sessions.

The proposed Annex to ISPM 38: 2018-009: ISPM 38 International Movement of seeds: Annex 1 – Design and use of systems approaches for phytosanitary certification of seeds, submitted to the 2018 IPPC call for Topics: Standards and Implementation by NAPPO and supported by several contracting parties, the ISF and many regional and national seed associations was presented during the workshop. Workshop participants recognized the need for the type of guidance the annex would provide.
The participants unanimously endorsed the statement below on full implementation of ISPM 38, agreed and took-action on tangible next steps towards implementation, and prepared a realistic list of medium-term and long-term next steps.

“Complete and successful implementation of ISPM 38 means that … Seed is moved between countries

  • With managed risk
  • With technically justified and predictable phytosanitary requirements, and
  • Without undue phytosanitary restrictions and delays”

Action items identified include the development of “common terminology” to effectively communicate between regulatory officials and seed industry partners, two-way sharing of information including seed production systems and processes, diagnostic validation protocols, successful examples of systems approaches around the world, relevant regulations for seeds, pest interception records, etc. to this end, two ad-hoc groups were formed to begin the work on the above.
This extremely successful implementation workshop complements the efforts of the IPPC Secretariat towards implementation of ISPM 38 during the 2018 IPPC Regional workshops using training materials developed by the ISF. Other seed summits and meetings – in Australia, Europe, Mexico and Uruguay - underscore the global interest in implementing this standard for the safe global movement of seeds.

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