Annual Report 2009


General situation

Membership of EPPO

In 2009 the membership remained stable and currently EPPO consists of 50 members. EPPO continues to target several countries, including Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and Mediterranean countries, to join the Organization.

EPPO staff changes

No changes in the staff occurred and the total staff of the Secretariat currently amounts to 12.8 positions, which includes 7.8 scientific staff positions.

EPPO work programme

The Secretariat organized a large number of meetings in 2009. In addition to the regular Council session and Executive Committee meetings, and the 2 Working Parties on Plant Protection Products and Phytosanitary Regulations, the Secretariat organized the following meetings:

  • • 18 Panel meetings
  • • 7 Expert Working Groups (EWGs): 5 EWGs to conduct Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) for a specific pest, and 2 EWGs on requirements for accreditation of laboratories and on revision of EPPO standards regarding honeybees
  • • 6 workshops/conferences on: control of Psila rosae, comparative assessment of plant protection products, contingency planning and eradication, establishing a Code of conduct on horticulture, diagnostics, phytosanitary inspection, and the impact of increasing trade on plant health situation in the EPPO region, and 3 Russian-speaking workshops [International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) in country consultation (Bykovo, RU, 2009-07-27/31); training phytosanitary advisors (Minsk, 2009-10-25/31); implementation of ISPMs (Bykovo, RU, 2009-11-25/27)]
  • • 1 meeting on the Colorado beetle campaign which is a joint project between 4 EPPO Members, coordinated by the EPPO Secretariat.

In 2009, the EPPO Council approved 42 new or revised standards (11 standards regarding Plant Protection Products and 31 standards regarding Phytosanitary Regulations). Furthermore, the Council decided to add the following pests to the Action List, highlighting the need for their regulation: Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii, Metamasius hemipterus, Heracleum sosnowskyi and Heracleum persicum.

Russian translation programme

In 2009, the EPPO programme of Russian translations continued. Seven International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures have been translated: ISPM no. 11 Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests, including analysis of environmental risks and living modified organisms, ISPM no. 14 The use of integrated measures in a systems approach for pest risk management, ISPM no. 15 Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade, ISPM no. 21 Pest risk analysis for regulated non-quarantine pests, ISPM no. 28 Phytosanitary treatments for regulated pests, ISPM no. 30 Establishment of areas of low pest prevalence for fruit flies (Tephritidae) and ISPM no. 31 Methodologies for sampling of consignments. Two EPPO standards have also been translated: EPPO Standard PM 3/65 (1) Sampling of consignments for visual phytosanitary inspection and EPPO Standard PM 5/3 (4) Decision-support scheme for quarantine pests. In addition, many administrative documents have been translated into Russian (EPPO Calendar for 2009, approximately 20 circulars and announcements of meetings). Many bilingual (English/Russian) letters, mainly addressing technical issues, were prepared by the Secretariat for Russian-speaking countries.

A Russian-speaking Workshop on draft ISPMs in country consultation was held for the first time (Moscow, 2009-07-27/31), in collaboration with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. Also in collaboration with the IPPC Secretariat, training for phytosanitary advisors was organized in Minsk (2009-10-26/30). The Director-General participated in the Plant Quarantine Council of CIS countries (Bykovo, RU, 2009-11-23/24). A workshop on implementation of ISPMs was held linked to this Council.

Information and documentation

The EPPO Secretariat continuously strives to expand the content of its Website. The following EPPO databases [EPPO Plant Protection Thesaurus (EPPT), Plant Quarantine Data Retrieval System (PQR), and EPPO Database on Diagnostic Expertise] are freely accessible on the Website http://www.eppo.org.

Progress made in the implementation of the EPPO strategy

In 2006, the EPPO Council adopted the strategic plan for 2006–2009 and approved its 10 main goals. This section reports the progress made in the implementation of these goals.

1. EPPO will take a lead in its support of Members by using its risk-based approach in justifying phytosanitary management and regulation

The EPPO Secretariat organized 5 EWGs to perform PRAs on:

Bactrocera invadens, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (revision), Meloidogyne enterolobii, Phytophthora kernoviae and Saperda candida.

The EPPO Secretariat participated as partner in the Consortium ‘PRATIQUE’ which was awarded the EU project ‘Development of more efficient risk analysis techniques for pests and pathogens of phytosanitary concern’ (KBBE-2007-1). This project develops the science and provision of PRA, explores the potential for new techniques, and refines existing tools and management approaches that can be applied to enhance existing PRA schemes. The role of the EPPO Secretariat will focus mainly on testing and validating the project outcomes. The project will run from 2008–2011.

Discussions continue in Europe on how PRA work should be organized effectively, in view of the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for Plant Health. EPPO and EFSA management are preparing working arrangements to clarify their respective roles and responsibilities in PRA.

2. EPPO will expand its role in diagnostics regarding quality assurance systems and/or accreditation

In 2009, 14 diagnostic standards were finalized and adopted by the Council. An important milestone was the finalization and approval of the EPPO Standard on Specific requirements for laboratories preparing accreditation for a plant pest diagnostic activity. In February 2009, European co-operation for Accreditation (EA, the European network of nationally recognized accreditation bodies) and EPPO agreed to closer cooperation for accreditation of plant pest diagnostic laboratories. It was agreed to evaluate the effectiveness of the cooperation between the 2 organizations by the end of 2010 in order to consider options for further strengthening and formalizing of relations.

The need to collect validation data for tests included in EPPO diagnostic protocols was recognized, and a project was started to gather such data.

3. EPPO will develop and maintain a Database on Diagnostic Expertise of its Member countries

This database is now well established and has been updated this year. Eighty laboratories have entered data. It is freely accessible on the EPPO Website.

4. EPPO will assist Members in the prevention of introduction, establishment and spread of Invasive Alien Plants by providing documentation and guidance

The Secretariat has now documented many Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) and their presence in the EPPO region. Currently, 8 IAP species are listed on the action list and several species were added to the EPPO alert list, providing detailed information on these species. A guideline on establishing a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants was adopted (PM 3/74) and introduced in a workshop for stakeholders. As one of the outcomes, it was considered important to monitor the effectiveness of the Code of conduct as this may be applied for other sectors as well.

5. EPPO will provide guidance on eradication and containment for important pests and continue work on harmonization of phytosanitary procedures

The importance of this goal was highlighted in the Council Colloquium considering the increase of international trade, not only in volume, but also new products and new origins. At the same time, an increasing number of interceptions and outbreaks are noted. It was concluded that further discussion within the EPPO bodies is needed to identify possible improvements in the plant health system.

EPPO Secretariat organized a workshop (Nova Gorica, SI) with risk managers to analyse success and failure factors in eradication campaigns. The outcome will be used in PRATIQUE for developing a decision support scheme on eradication.

Several standards describing procedures for official control (PM 9 series) were developed and 4 standards were approved by the Council. Two of these standards guide official control actions for IAPs. A third standard provides guidance for developing national contingency plans. The Council agreed to an accelerated procedure for approval of the revised official control standard for Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and its vectors in view of the potential impact of this pest and improved understanding of how to deal with it.

6. EPPO should develop guidance for mutual recognition and minor uses and expand work on resistance to plant protection products

As part of the adopted standard PP 1/257 Efficacy and crop safety extrapolations for minor uses, extrapolation tables for Solanaceae were developed and approved. A workshop on Comparative Assessment was organized, bringing together experts, authorization authorities, policy officers and industry. The workshop acknowledged the importance of guidance for minor uses and encouraged continuation of the work on developing extrapolation tables for minor uses. The workshop recommended that EPPO should also develop guidance on comparative assessment.

7. EPPO will assist member countries with implementing International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures

In 2009, several workshops addressed ISPMs. For the first time, a Russian-speaking workshop to prepare comments on draft ISPMs in country consultation was organized in the EPPO region. Furthermore, training on standard implementation for (Russian-speaking) phytosanitary advisors took place. The workshop for phytosanitary inspectors exchanged experiences on inspection of wood packaging material in view of ISPM No. 15.

8. EPPO provides validated documentation on pests

The EPPO Reporting Service is an important channel for plant quarantine information, and the number of subscriptions continues to increase:

 Start 2009End 2009Change (%)
Reporting Service – English version15701811+15
Reporting Service – French version495569+15
List of EPPO Standards10291315+28
List of Phytosanitary Regulations9561220+28

The EPPO Bulletin/Bulletin OEPP is an important publication of the Secretariat and requires a significant amount of work by the staff of the Secretariat.

EPPO Bulletin200720082009
Institutional subs111110108
Institutions accessing through licensed deals31033260>3100
Libraries accessing through philanthropic deals247524753003
Institutions that have accessed through EBSCO494520861

9. EPPO develops criteria for the efficacy evaluation of plant protection products

The ongoing work programme on the preparation of standards for the efficacy evaluation of plant protection products resulted in the adoption of 11 new or revised specific standards and extrapolation tables for 3 crop groups. The task of developing extrapolation tables for minor uses has been added to the work programme of the 2 Panels on Efficacy Evaluation (Fungicides/Insecticides and Herbicides/Plant Growth Regulators) and, as it is very demanding, an additional day has been added to their meetings.

10. EPPO assists members in establishing collective views on issues at global level

The Panel on CPM Affairs met 3 times and prepared recommendations on draft ISPMs. Joint consultation took place with the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) and the Comité de Sanidad Vegetal del Cono Sur (COSAVE), and EPPO participated in the 21st Technical Consultation of Regional Plant Protection Organizations. Denmark hosted the Technical Panel for the Glossary (Copenhagen, 2009-06-15/19). EPPO Secretariat hosted the EWG–PRA for plants as quarantine pests (Paris, 2009-05-25/29). In collaboration with IPPC Secretariat, EPPO organized 2 workshops regarding development and implementation of ISPMs. The EPPO Secretariat contributed to the development of a technical manual for forestry, explaining how ISPMs apply to the forestry sector. EPPO Secretariat also participated in the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group, and it should be noted that an increasing number of ISPMs for forestry are in development.

Fewer panels, more one-off meetings

EPPO’s strategy emphasizes the importance of active participation of experts from throughout the EPPO region in carrying out the work programme.

It has been decided that participation levels in the Panels should be followed closely. The following table compares trends in expert participation for the years 2006–2009 (Table 1).

Table 1.   Development of membership and attendance of EPPO Panel meetings
YearNet balanceAverage numberParticipation (%)
  1. Net balance: number of new Panel members minus withdrawn Panel members.

  2. Average number: average number of members (observers not included) participating in Panel meetings.

  3. Participation: percent of total Panel members participating in Panel meeting.

2006+210.482
2007+2111.082
2008+312.486
2009+312.984

In 2009 the trend is positive regarding membership of Panels, and the attendance of Panel meetings is on a constant level.

Web services

The fast growth of use of the EPPO Website in recent years continued. Figure 1 illustrates the trend in recent years. Since 2007, the use of certain Web applications has been counted separately, and these are summarized in Table 2. Since EPPT (containing the EPPO codes) can be consulted on the Website free of charge, its use is increasing. The developed Database on Diagnostic Expertise shows substantial use in 2009. In 2009, the standards on efficacy evaluation of plant protection products (PP1) were made available through the EPPO Website, and their use illustrates that accessibility through the Website is well appreciated. CAPRA is the web-based PRA decision-support scheme which is in development (within the PRATIQUE project).

Figure 1.

 Use of the EPPO Website (pages view). Pages viewed includes the website and the archives but excudes databases.

Table 2.   Use of EPPO databases: EPPO Database on Diagnostic Expertise; EPPO Plant Protection Thesaurus (EPPT); EPPO Standards on Efficacy Evaluation of Plant Protection Products (PP1); Computer Assisted PRA (CAPRA)
 2006200720082009
Diagnostic Expertise400035 64530 85467 633
EPPT3230299 030376 638538 301
PP1   66 074
CAPRA   5355
Total7230334 675407 492677 363

Figure 2 illustrates the origins of visitors to the EPPO Website. Compared with 2008, use by EPPO member countries increased significantly. The most visited section of the EPPO Website is ‘Quarantine’.

Figure 2.

 Origin of visitors to the EPPO Website.

Technical activities of Working Parties

Phytosanitary regulations

The 47th meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations took place in Las Palmas de Grand Canaria on 2009-06-16/19. The Working Party reviewed the work of the Panels placed under its authority, directed their future work, and made a number of recommendations to EPPO Council. It also discussed global phytosanitary issues.

The Working Party was informed about the subjects discussed by the Commission for Phytosanitary Measures and by the Standards Committee. The importance of improving pest reporting by EPPO members was emphasized, and it was recommended that a questionnaire should be sent to EPPO countries to investigate the main difficulties in fulfilling the pest reporting obligations. It was also suggested that the EPPO Secretariat should investigate whether it is possible for EPPO members to provide pest reports to IPPC through EPPO on a voluntary basis. The Working Party also discussed potential new topics for ISPMs, and it was agreed that a standard on ‘international movement of seeds’ should be proposed given the importance of this trade, in particular to include elements on seed-transmitted pests.

The Working Party broadly agreed with the proposed EPPO strategy for 2010–2014 and supported the decision that work on PRA, information and documentation, and pest eradication and containment should receive high priority.

Participants expressed their satisfaction with the EPPO Website and information services, which constitute a highly valued source of information in their National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs). Regarding the EPPO Bulletin, it was stressed that more articles should be published on eradication of pests and on ‘lessons learned’.

The Working Party reviewed the system established to perform PRA in the EPPO region and concluded that the EWGs for PRA should continue to operate on the basis of the current procedures. It highlighted the need for EPPO to perform more pathway analysis and recommended that ways to achieve this should be explored further. The Working Party confirmed that national PRAs can constitute a basis for EPPO recommendations, and agreed that the guidelines for reviewing national PRAs developed in 2008 should be used at the next Panel on Phytosanitary Measures, and a report on the process presented. The Working Party established a list of pests for which PRA should be performed or evaluated in 2009–2010: EWGs for PRA should be organized in order of priority for Saperda candida, Phytophthora kernoviae (to broaden the UK PRA for the region), Epitrix spp., Phytophthora pinifolia, Tomato viroids and Halyomorpha halys.

The Working Party discussed a proposed revision of PM 9/1 (1) regarding a national regulatory control system for Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. It emphasized the importance of this revision but could not agree on the draft, and recommended that the Panel on Quarantine Pests for Forestry should address the comments from the Working Party and that the outcome should be reported to the Council.

The Working Party discussed the initiation of new activities regarding diagnostics. Several Panels on diagnostics have identified a need to collect validation data for tests included in EPPO diagnostic protocols. The Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations welcomed this initiative but noted that there should be a commitment of laboratories to provide such information.

Finally, the Working Party discussed the situation of Chalara fraxinea, a pest increasingly observed in European countries on ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) in the past 10 years. The Working Party recommended organizing a Workshop, in particular to discuss how to control this pest when found (for example, good practice).

Plant protection products

The 39th Meeting of the Working Party on Plant Protection Products took place in Torino, Italy on 2009-05-12/14.

The EPPO Working Party on Plant Protection Products directs and supervises the technical work of many EPPO Panels concerned with the registration of plant protection products.

The Working Party on Plant Protection Products continues to approve a steady flow of new or revised EPPO standards in series PP1: Efficacy evaluation of plant protection products.

A new standard on ‘Fungal diseases on Agaricus spp.’ was returned to the Panel as it received substantial comments in the country consultation phase.

The extrapolation tables for the effectiveness of fungicides and insecticides for Solanaceous crops were approved by the Working Party following several recommendations and minor amendments. The tables for effectiveness of herbicides on vegetable brassicas, pome fruit and stone fruit, in a new, simplified format, were also approved.

The Working Party discussed the operational plan for 2010, in particular which Panels should meet, and considered the working programmes of the Panels for efficacy evaluation. These working programmes consist of a substantial list of specific standards which need to be revised or newly drafted.

The Working Party also discussed the EPPO strategy regarding plant protection for the period 2010–2014. It considered the outcome of a working group on the EPPO strategy (Paris, 2009-04-15) and also the outcome of the EPPO Workshop on the development of principles for comparative assessment in the framework of substitution of plant protection products (Brussels, 2009-05-06/07). The Working Party agreed to give high priority to increasing the number of extrapolation tables which accompany EPPO Standard PP 1/257 Efficacy and crop safety extrapolations for minor uses. The Working Party agreed how the work by experts on these tables should be organized in order to proceed more quickly, and noted that, in order to facilitate this, the work on efficacy standards could receive a lower priority. The Working Party gave high priority to the continuation of EPPO’s work on resistance, and proposed that the existing standard PP 1/213 (2) Resistance risk analysis should be elaborated following comparative assessment to provide advice on effective resistance management in view of the reduced number of active substances. The Working Party gave high priority to developing guidance on how the process of comparative assessment should be carried out. The Panel on General Standards should work on this task. The Working Party gave low priority to a revision of Good Plant Protection Practice, but felt it to be important that the Secretariat monitors exchange of information on integrated pest management.

The Working Party on Plant Protection Products suggested that the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations should be informed of the outcome of the Workshop on Comparative Assessment so they are aware of the possible impact of the new EU Regulation on the availability of plant protection products for phytosanitary (quarantine) purposes.

Footnotes

  • 1

    The regulations came into force on 14 December 2009.

Appendices

Appendix 1 – EPPO Calendar for 2009

I. Executive Committee

1.Executive Committee04-16/17Paris
2.Executive Committee09-21Angers (FR)

II. Council

1.Accounts Verification Panel09-21Angers (FR)
2.Administrative Session09-22/23Angers (FR)
3.Colloquium and Technical Visit09-24Angers (FR)

III. Conferences

1.Workshop on carrot fly (Psila rosae) control02-02/04Lelystad (NL)
2.Workshop on eradication, containment and contingency planning02-10/12Nova Gorica (SI)
3.Workshop on the development of principles for comparative assessment in the framework of substitution05-06/07Brussels
4.Conference on diagnostics05-10/15York (GB)
5.EPPO/Council of Europe Workshop ‘Code of conduct on Horticulture and Invasive Alien Plants’06-04/05Ski (NO)
6.Workshop for phytosanitary inspectors11-10/12Vilnius

IV. Working Parties

1.Plant Protection Products05-12/14Torino (IT)
2.Phytosanitary Regulations06-16/19Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (ES)

V. Panels and EWGs

 1.Joint NAPPO–EPPO meeting and CPM Affairs01-19/22Martinique (FR)
 2.Bacterial diseases02-02/04Izmir (TR)
 3.Phytosanitary measures02-17/20Paris
 4.Technical requirements for laboratories03-16/19Vilnius
 5.EWG for PRA Hydrocotyle ranunculoides and Lysichiton americanus03-23/27Paris
 6.Joint EPPO/International Organisation for Biological Control biological control agents03-25/26Zürich (CH)
 7.Nematodes03-31/04-03Firenze (IT)
 8.EWG on EPPO strategic plan 2010–201404-15Paris
 9.Phytosanitary treatments04-15/17Bordeaux (FR)
10.CPM Affairs04-20/22Paris
11.European Mycology Network04-23/24Vienna
12.EWG for PRA Meloidogyne enterolobii05-25/28Paris
13.Ad hoc Panel on Invasive Alien Species06-02/04Ski (NO)
14.Quarantine pests for forestry06-30/07-02Bykovo (RU)
15.CPM Affairs09-01/04Cracow (PL)
16.EWG on technical requirements for laboratories09-15/16Paris
17.Diagnostics10-13/15Rome
18.EWG on Environmental Risk Assessment scheme on honeybees10-15Paris
19.Resistance Panel on Plant Protection Products10-27/29Vienna
20.Panel on General Standards10-28/29Vienna
21.Ad hoc meeting on tomato viroids/EUPHRESCO pilot projet on viroids10-28/29Ljubljana
22.EWG for PRA Saperda candida11-02/05Paris
23.Colorado beetle11-04/05Paris
24.Herbicides–plant growth regulators11-11/12Lisbon
25.Fungicides–insecticides11-16/20Split (HR)
26.EWG for PRA Phytophthora kernoviae11-30/12-03Paris
27.EWG for PRA Bactrocera invadens12-07/10Paris
28.PRA development12-14/17York (GB)

Appendix 2 – EPPO publications in 2009

  • 1Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin39 (1) (2009-04), pp. 1–112, including 10 EPPO Standards, 6 Datasheets on pests recommended for regulation, 24 abstracts presented at the European Phytosanitary Conference on Potato and other arable crops, and 4 original papers;
  • 2Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin39 (2) (2009-08), pp. 113–214, including 5 papers presented at the EPPO Workshop on Carrot Fly (Psila rosae), 5 papers presented at the EPPO Workshop on eradication, containment and contingency planning, and 6 original papers;
  • 3Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin39 (3) (2009-12), pp. 215–532, including 39 EPPO Standards, 1 datasheet, 1 original paper, and the recommendations made by EPPO Council in 2008 and the Annual Report for 2008;
  • 4EPPO Technical Documents no. 1054. Report of the 39th Meeting of the Working Party on Plant Protection Products (Torino, IT, 2009-05-12/14);
  • 5EPPO Technical Documents no. 1055. Report of the 47th Meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES, 2009-06-16/19).

EPPO databases in 2009

  • 1 Plant Quarantine Data Retrieval System (PQR);
  • 2 EPPO Plant Protection Thesaurus (EPPT);
  • 3 EPPO Database on Diagnostic Expertise;
  • 4 EPPO Standards on Efficacy Evaluation of Plant Protection Products.

Appendix 3 – Reports on EPPO workshops and conferences in 2009

EPPO Workshop on Carrot Fly (Psila rosae) (Lelystad, NL, 2009-02-02/04)

Carrot fly (Psila rosae) is a serious and widespread pest. It causes most damage to carrots, but can also affect the roots of related crops such as parsnip, celery and parsley. Pest management systems have been developed to tackle this problem: these require a clear understanding of the biology and activity of the pest (which has up to 3 generations per year depending on growing latitude), and effective use of intervention and cultural control methods. Over the forthcoming years, the effectiveness of control strategies is likely to be reduced by the removal of plant protection products currently available on the market.

There were 42 participants from 11 EPPO countries at the EPPO workshop, including delegates from research institutions, national regulatory bodies, agricultural advisory organizations, agrochemical companies, seed production companies, and carrot breeders’ and growers’ representatives.

The aim of this ad hoc workshop was to share the latest information on the biology and life cycle of P. rosae; explore current and potential strategies to control carrot fly; share perspectives on the carrot fly situation and control systems in other EPPO countries; learn from the experiences of others; identify issues facing growers; recommend the key components of current best practice strategy for integrated and sustainable carrot fly management; and discuss and identify future requirements and research necessary to support the development and implementation of successful control strategies.

EPPO Workshop on Eradication, Containment and Contingency planning (Nova Gorica, SI, 2009-02-10/12)

NPPOs face the challenge of how to respond rapidly and effectively to pest outbreaks. Often they are successful and succeed in eradicating the pest. Sometimes it takes more time and resources than first anticipated, and in certain cases the original objectives of the eradication campaign may need to be reviewed.

Several EPPO members are developing contingency plans for pests which may cause a major economic and/or environmental impact. EPPO responded to this trend by developing the Standard Generic elements for contingency plans. Also, new standards for important pests are developed in the series PM 9 National regulatory control systems. This should assist EPPO members to draft their own pest-specific contingency plans.

The increased emphasis on eradication and contingency planning in EPPO’s work programme should also contribute to the EU project PRATIQUE, in particular the task to develop a decision support system for the eradication and containment of pest outbreaks (WP5). In order to collect and exchange experiences of eradication, a workshop was organized for those involved in eradication campaigns or contingency planning in their country. Participants also considered whether the new EPPO Standard on contingency plans is complete in listing all important generic elements which should be part of a contingency plan.

Fifty-two experts from 25 countries participated in the workshop. Several experts involved in PRATIQUE-WP5 also participated, which provided an excellent opportunity for risk managers and scientists to exchange experiences and discuss the necessary tools to support member countries in eradication campaigns.

EPPO Workshop on the Development of Principles for Comparative Assessment in the Framework of Substitution (Brussels, 2009-05-06/07)

The workshop met in light of the EU regulations concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market which were to come into force later in the year1, repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC. From this point onwards, whenever a plant protection product contains an active substance that has been identified as a candidate for substitution, EU Member States will need to perform comparative assessment when evaluating an application for authorization. An EPPO Workshop was held in Brussels on 2009-05-06/07 in order to:

  • • define how to perform comparative assessment and substitution in practice, in relation to the new regulations
  • • identify the areas where further guidance is needed for the implementation of the new regulations
  • • determine how EPPO as a scientific and technical organization may assist its member countries in implementing the new regulations
  • • determine the effects of new EU regulations on other non-EU EPPO countries
  • • define the implications for existing EPPO standards and the need for drafting new standards.

A total of 61 participants attended the workshop, the majority being officials from the national regulatory authorities of 17 EPPO countries. The other participants were representatives of crop protection companies, the European Crop Protection Association, the European Commission, the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations–General Committee for Agricultural Cooperation in the European Union (COPA-COGECA), and farmers’ unions.

The workshop provided an overview of the current situation regarding implementation of the new European Regulation for the approval of plant protection products, outlining the key changes in scope of the Regulation, including Comparative Assessment. Presentations focused on:

  • • the possible impact of the new criteria, including Comparative Assessment, on the availability of currently available active substances
  • • the experience of the Swedish Chemicals Agency in conducting Comparative Assessments for issuing authorizations for plant protection
  • • the viewpoint of European farmers on the context of Comparative Assessment, with particular respect to the issues of IPM compatibility, resistance management and minor uses
  • • the potential consequences of changing the portfolio of available plant protection products in regard to phytosanitary issues
  • • an overview of the range of biological solutions that are currently available to complement chemical control in agricultural systems.

The workshop resulted in recommendations regarding further work to develop guidance for conducting Comparative Assessment, considering the risk of developing resistance and the impact on pest control possibilities for minor uses.

EPPO Conference on Diagnostics (York, GB, 2009-05-10/15)

EPPO organized a Conference on Diagnostics in cooperation with the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) in York. This Conference followed in the sequence of EPPO Conferences on new methods of diagnosis in plant protection, previously held in Netherlands in 1985, 1994, 2000 and 2004. This Conference was attended by more than 140 participants from 29 countries (including non-EPPO countries: USA, Uganda, Peru, New Zealand). Most participants were experts in the diagnosis of plant pests, but representatives of EU organizations and private companies were also present. The following sessions were organized:

  • • a general session covering various topics related to diagnostics, in particular of viruses and bacteria
  • • a session on DNA barcoding and sequence-based detection; the use of these techniques for diagnostics was presented as well as the recently launched European project Quarantine Barcoding of Life (QBOL), which aims to develop new diagnostic tools to identify quarantine pests
  • • a session on novel detection methods, including sound detectors and satellite imagery on-site diagnostic tools (lateral flow devices)
  • • a session on array-based systems and new molecular methods, where recent developments on genomic chips were presented
  • • a session on quality systems for phytosanitary diagnostics, where accreditation processes and validation of tests were discussed.
Associated workshops

A workshop on whole genome amplification (WGA). After presentations on WGA, participants could analyse their own genomic DNA samples.

A workshop on the implementation of the EPPO Standard PM 3/64 ‘Intentional import of organisms that are plant pests or potential plant pests’ and the EU directive 2008/61. It was emphasized that harmonization of containment conditions was important for research laboratories working in different disciplines, such as genetically modified organisms, biological control agents and quarantine pests. In addition, containment conditions should be risk-based.

Presentations were given on how EU Directive 2008/61 was implemented and how the guidance provided by PM 3/64 in this context was used.

A practical workshop on quality assurance for plant pest diagnostic laboratories followed on 2009-05-14/15 and consisted of practical sessions on method validation and organization of proficiency testing, metrology and practical design, and implementation of a quality management system.

EPPO Workshop ‘Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants’ (Ski, NO, 2009-06-04/05)

The EPPO Workshop in collaboration with the Council of Europe on the Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants gathered 40 participants from 19 countries.

EPPO and the Council of Europe have jointly drafted a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants for European and Mediterranean countries. In Europe, it is estimated that 80% of invasive alien plants are voluntarily introduced for ornamental purposes, and international trade is increasing yearly. This major pathway must be addressed urgently to prevent entry and spread of invasive alien plants as, at present, few legislation and management programmes are in place. Voluntary measures to tackle the problem and raise awareness among the horticultural sector and the public are therefore considered a priority. This Code of conduct provides essential information for governments and the horticultural and landscape sectors on regulation concerning invasive alien plants, plant waste disposal, labelling of plants, proposing alternative plants, publicity, etc. This new and promising initiative now requires promotion and implementation within countries.

This workshop was an opportunity to hear the professionals’ opinions on this initiative through the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), as well as the NPPOs’ views. Lessons were learnt on how such a Code of conduct has been implemented in North America. Initiatives taken in the European and Mediterranean region were also presented (for example, from Belgium, France, Italy, UK, Spain, Sweden). The workshop resulted in a recommendation on how to draft and implement national codes of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants. This recommendation is addressed to governments and NPPOs, the horticultural sector and international organizations.

EPPO Council Colloquium ‘Increasing trade, changing climate, emerging pests: Is the plant health sector prepared?’ (Angers, FR, 2009-09-24)

After the administrative session of the EPPO Council, which took place in Angers (2009-09-22/23), a Colloquium was organized to discuss the following theme: ‘Increasing trade, changing climate, emerging pests: Is the plant health sector prepared?’ More than 50 participants from 33 countries attended this Colloquium.

The following topics were presented:

  • • the current philosophy of plant health in Europe, its advantages and disadvantages, and possibilities for improvement of the current plant health system
  • • the high risks presented by the trade of plants for planting, illustrated by the ever-growing list of Phytophthora species emerging in many parts of the world, affecting woody plants in nurseries and natural environments
  • • based on interception reports and recent pest introductions, it was shown that imports of ornamentals and woody plants are risky pathways
  • • views about possible improvements of the current plant health system were presented, in particular to avoid the entry and spread of new pests; the role of nurseries and the importance of their collaboration with NPPOs; importance of certification schemes to produce healthy planting material; strengthening diagnostic capacity and harmonization of diagnostic protocols; and the necessity for NPPOs to act rapidly when confronted with new outbreaks.

Discussions continued in small groups, and the following questions were addressed: Is the European plant health system robust enough to deal with the challenges of increasing trade and changing climate? Is the emergence of new pests a consequence of failures of the current plant health system? How could the plant health system be improved further? The participants made detailed proposals on how plant health systems could be improved in the EPPO region, on how NPPOs and nurseries in both exporting and importing countries should work together, and on how EPPO could contribute to these future improvements. In particular, there was agreement that the risk-based approach should continue to be used when establishing plant health strategies, and that early warning and rapid phytosanitary actions were essential when faced with new outbreaks. Concerns were expressed about the consequences of the decreasing number of registered plant protection products available for controlling pest outbreaks. It was also recognized that communication should be facilitated between all stakeholders (NPPOs, growers, traders, the general public) when new outbreaks were discovered. The development of codes of conduct (for example, for nurseries or traders) to prevent the entry and spread of pests might be a possibility that remains to be explored. The Colloquium also considered that the development of ‘horizontal safeguards’ (for example, general requirements for soil or plants for planting) should be enhanced both at European and global level (i.e. an ISPM for plants for planting).

It was concluded that the preliminary conclusions of this Colloquium should continue to be discussed within the EPPO bodies (Executive Committee, Working Parties and Panels).

EPPO Workshop for Phytosanitary Inspectors (Vilnius, 2009-11-10/12)

More than 50 participants from 23 countries participated in the workshop to exchange information and experience on inspections of wood packaging material (WPM) and implementation of ISPM 15, post-import inspections and the phytosanitary security of consignments after the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. At the opening of the workshop, the importance of the work achieved by the phytosanitary inspectors, which is at the basis of the whole plant health system, was emphasized. The EPPO information services, the preparation of EPPO’s inspection standards, and the general contents and requirements of ISPM 15 were presented.

Participants explained how inspections of WPM were carried out and how ISPM 15 was being implemented in their countries. Information was exchanged on:

  • • phytosanitary inspections which are performed on imported consignments accompanied with WPM (for example, how to target inspections; how to perform inspections at seaports, airports, border crossings and railway stations; which measures should be taken in cases of non-compliance)
  • • production of ISPM 15-compliant WPM at national level (for example, registration and inspection of WPM-producing companies, wood treatment methods used, calibration of treatment equipment, measures taken in cases of non-compliance).

The workshop concluded that the harmonization of measures taken in cases of non-compliance with ISPM 15 was necessary. It also stressed that better collaboration is needed between NPPOs and shippers to improve compliance of WPM with ISPM 15.

Presentations and discussions also took place on post-import inspections (at place of destination and after customs clearance). The advantages and disadvantages of post-import inspections were illustrated with the cases of Bemisia tabaci and Anoplophora species, found on imports in the United Kingdom and Netherlands, respectively. Finally, inspectors exchanged views on how NPPOs could ensure the phytosanitary security of consignments after the issuance of phytosanitary certificates. This topic was illustrated with the example of a system using seals which has recently been developed by the Polish NPPO, in close collaboration with customs, to ensure that consignments could not be altered after phytosanitary certification. This system is being implemented on the basis of a bilateral agreement with one importing country. During the discussions, it was explained that in Russia and Ukraine, consignments intended to be exported from regions other than the region of production are accompanied by an internal ‘quarantine certificate’. The export certificate is issued at the place of export, on the basis of this document and an additional inspection immediately before export. The workshop considered that security systems cannot be developed for all types of consignment, and that a risk-based approach was necessary.

Appendix 4 – Other meetings attended by the Secretariat

  • 1 20th Annual USDA Interagency Research Forum on Gypsy moth and other invasive species (Annapolis, US, 2009-01-13/16), attended by Mr Orlinski to present a paper on ‘Situation with Eucalyptus pests in EPPO countries: initiation of a pathway risk analysis’.
  • 2 EU-EWG on Pine wood nematode (Brussels, 2009-02-26/27), attended by Mr van Opstal. The EWG discussed appropriate measures to eradicate pine wood nematode in case of an outbreak.
  • 3 NNSS (GB non-native species secretariat) (London, 2009-01-20/23), attended by Mr Griessinger to develop web-based PRA.
  • 4 Official visit in Uzbekistan (Tashkent, 2009-02-15/18) by Mr van Opstal and Mr Orlinski.
  • 5 Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (San Francisco, US, 2009-02-23/27), attended by Ms Zlof.
  • 6 EU project 3rd PRATIQUE Meeting (Kleinmachnow, DE, 2009-03-03/05), attended by Mr van Opstal, Ms Petter, Ms Brunel and Mr Griessinger.
  • 7 Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM)-4 (Rome, 2009-03/30-04/03), attended by Mr van Opstal.
  • 8 2nd International Symposium on Anoplophora chinensis and A. glabripennis: phytosanitary strategies and research (Como, IT, 2009-04-01/03), attended by Ms Roy to present a paper on ‘EPPO activities on Anoplophora species and other pests of trees’.
  • 9 EFSA Working Group for the preparation of the guidance document on a harmonized framework for pest risk assessment and the evaluation of pest risk management options (Bologne, IT, 2009-04-16/17), attended by Ms Petter.
  • 10 ENDURE – meeting on European crop protection in 2030 (Brussels, 2009-04-15), attended by Mr Sunley.
  • 11 Bern Convention Group of Experts on Invasive Alien Species (Brijuni, HR, 2009-05-02/07), attended by Ms Brunel.
  • 12 Kick-off meeting of Quarantine Barcoding of Life (QBOL), a project financed by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union to generate barcode sequences for a selected set of quarantine organisms: arthropods, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, phytoplasms and viruses (Wageningen, NL, 2009-05-07), attended by Ms Petter.
  • 13 FAO Core Group Meeting for development of ‘Guide to implementing international standards for phytosanitary measures in the forest sector’ (Roma, 2009-05-13/15), attended by Mr Orlinski.
  • 14 IPPC EWG to develop draft ISPM PRA for plants (Paris, 2009-05-25/29), attended by Ms Brunel.
  • 15 EU Expert Group on Sustainable Agriculture (Brussels, 2009-06-03/04), attended by Ms Zlof.
  • 16 National colloquium of Société Française de Phytopathologie (Lyon, FR, 2009-06-08/10), attended by Ms Roy to present a lecture on ‘Emerging plant diseases: new challenges for plant pathology. (« Conférence Grand Public – Plantes et maladies émergentes : de nouveaux défis pour la phytopathologie »).
  • 17 PRATIQUE Cross-cutting issues (London, 2009-06-10), attended by Ms Petter.
  • 18 Workshop on Agrilus planipennis (Wageningen, NL, 2009-06-11/12), attended by Mr Orlinski.
  • 19 European Biosafety Association – 12th Annual Conference of the EBSA (Stockholm, 2009-06-15/17), attended by Ms Roy to present a paper on ‘EPPO, plant pathogens and quarantine’.
  • 20 OECD Expert Group on Minor Uses (Paris, 2009-06-26), attended by Ms Zlof and Mr Sunley.
  • 21 OECD Working Group on Pesticides (Paris, 2009-07-01), attended by Ms Zlof.
  • 22 EU Project PRATIQUE specific meeting on models for summarizing risk (London, 2009-07-06/09), attended by Ms Petter, Ms Brunel and Mr Griessinger.
  • 23 Workshop on bioclimatic modelling, Laboratoire national de la protection des végétaux (LNPV) (Angers, FR, 2009-07-20/23), attended by Ms Brunel.
  • 24 EPPO/IPPC Workshop for CIS countries on draft ISPMs (Moscow, 2009-07-27/31), attended by Mr Orlinski.
  • 25 Workshop on pest risk mapping (San Francisco, US, 2009-08-10/12), attended by Ms Brunel.
  • 26 Official visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, BA, 2009-08-17/20) by Mr van Opstal.
  • 27 International Forest Quarantine Research Group, FAO meeting (Roma, 2009-09-14/18), attended by Mr Orlinski.
  • 28 4th PRATIQUE project meeting (Den Haag, NL, 2009-09-28/10-01), attended by Mr van Opstal, Ms Petter, Ms Brunel and Mr Griessinger.
  • 29 Invasive Alien Species Workshop for Chief Plant Health Officers and Inspectors of EU countries (Budapest, 2009-10-06/08), attended by Ms Brunel.
  • 30 33rd NAPPO Annual Meeting (Chicago, US, 2009-10-20/23), attended by Mr van Opstal.
  • 31 ENDURE Annual Meeting (Wageningen, NL, 2009-10-20/23), attended by Ms Zlof.
  • 32 CABI Compendium Programme Annual Development Consortium Workshop (Wallingford, GB, 2009-10-22/23), attended by Ms Roy.
  • 33 IPPC/EPPO training for phytosanitary consultants (Minsk, 2009-10-26/30), attended by Mr Orlinski.
  • 34 Moroccan Plant Protection Association Congress (Marrakech, MA, 2009-11-09/11), attended by Ms Suffert to present a lecture on International cooperation and the role on EPPO in Pest Risk Analysis (Coopération internationale et rôle de l’OEPP dans l’analyse du risque phytosanitaire).
  • 35 Chief Officers of Plant Health Services (COPHS) (Brussels, 2009-11-11), attended by Mr van Opstal who was invited to this meeting of EU Chiefs of Plant Health Services.
  • 36 Plant Quarantine Council of CIS countries (Moscow, 2009-11-23/27), attended by Mr van Opstal and Mr Orlinski.
  • 37 21st Technical Consultation between Regional Plant Protection Organizations (Entebbe, UG, 2009-30/11-04/12), attended by Mr van Opstal.
  • 38 Standards Committee for Plant Health (SCPH) PRA for pine wood nematode (Brussels, 2009-12-15), attended by Mr Orlinski.

Ancillary