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International Plant Protection Convention


The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is a multilateral treaty[1] overseen by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO. Its aim is to secure cooperation among nations in protecting global plant resources from the spread and introduction of pests (including pathogens)[2]. The IPPC's primary focus is on plants (wild and cultivated) and plant products moving in international trade. As of March 2017, there were 183 contracting parties to the IPPC: 180 United Nations member states, the Cook Islands, Niue, and the European Union[3].

The governing body of the IPPC is the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), which prepares International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) in order to achieve international harmonization of quarantine policies and to facilitate trade by preventing countries from using unjustifiable measures as trade barriers. Under the IPPC, an importing country can only impose phytosanitary measures for regulated pests, which can be quarantine or non-quarantine pests.

The IPPC defines a regulated quarantine pest as “a pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled”. It defines a regulated non-quarantine pest as “a pest whose presence in plants for planting affects the intended use of those plants with an economically unacceptable impact and which is therefore regulated within the territory of the importing contracting party”.

The IPPC also encourages support to developing countries to improve the effectiveness of their National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and to participate in Regional Plant Protection Organizations.

Commission on Phytosanitary Measures

The CPM is the governing body of the IPPC. Among others, the CPM:
  • reviews the state of plant protection around the world;
  • identifies action to control the spread of pests into new areas;
  • develops and adopts international standards;
  • establishes rules and procedures for resolving disputes;
  • establishes rules and procedures for the sharing of phytosanitary information.

The CPM also works with Regional Plant Protection Organizations and other relevant international organizations to build phytosanitary capacity,  and to identify and address risks that cross national borders.

The CPM meets annually to promote cooperation and help implement the objectives of the IPPC. Commission meetings are attended by contracting parties and by observers from organizations such as Regional Plant Protection Organizations, the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee, the Standards and Trade Development Facility, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures

The IPPC provides an international framework for plant protection that includes developing International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) in order to achieve international harmonization of quarantine policies and to facilitate trade by preventing countries from using unjustifiable measures as trade barriers[4]. These include standards for:
  • procedures and references;
  • pest surveillance, survey and monitoring;
  • import regulations and pest risk analysis;
  • compliance procedures and phytosanitary inspection methodologies;
  • pest management;
  • post entry quarantine;
  • exotic pest emergency response, control and eradication; and
  • export certification.

Developing countries receive technical assistance to support their ability to implement the IPPC and the ISPMs.

References

Also on this website

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Official website of the IPPC

ISPMs