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International Symposium for Risk-Based Sampling (RBS)


The fate of hundreds of consignments in ports around the world is decided every day based on inspection* of both the certification of exports and the clearance of imports.  Inspection for the detection of harmful exotic pests is a sampling process that involves the statistical concepts associated with the probability of detection. By designing inspection processes around basic statistical concepts, inspection programs are able to better identify and rank non-compliant imports.  Ranking based on action rates* associated with pest interceptions helps inspectors and policy makers to identify riskier imports and then adjust resources and policies to maximize the effectiveness of inspection.  Risk-based inspection designs provide a consistent and reliable measure of action rates for commodities, approach rates for pests and infestation rates for shipments.

*inspection is the official visual examination of plants, plant products or other regulated articles to determine if pests are present or to determine compliance with phytosanitary regulations.

**action rates are the frequency that consignments are found to have quarantine pests


RBS – incentives for industry

RBS helps trade by providing a transparent and predictable process designed to consistently detect the same level of infestation regardless of shipment size. The results of RBS inspections provide the data needed to confidently rank imports in categories that reflect their phytosanitary status and changes in their phytosanitary status over time. 

USDA photo by R. Anson Eaglin.

Overlaying inspections policies on these categories creates the opportunity to reduce inspection frequency and/or intensity for low risk imports thereby rewarding the importers of clean material with expedited clearance.

It’s WIN – WIN – WIN ! Faster clearance for importers, less time for inspectors on low risk imports and better overall risk management.

RBS – how can you learn more? The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is hosting an International Symposium on Risk-Based Sampling with support from USDA.  The event is scheduled for June 26-30, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The venue is the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor.  The Symposium will accept a maximum of 125 participants. For more information please click on the appropriate links on the left. If you have any questions concerning registration or other logistics, please contact Sofia Baez via phone at (919) 617-4041 or by email at Sofia.Baez(at)

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