August 29-September 2, 2016, IICA Costa Rica
On September 2, 2016 the NAPPO secretariat successfully concluded a five-day workshop on the implementation of the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures 15 – ISPM 15, held at the Inter American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA in Spanish) in San José, Costa Rica. The workshop was attended by 39 participants from 18 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean and 14 support staff from the United States and Canada including invited speakers, translators and additional personnel from USDA-APHIS. Each participant introduced themselves following welcoming remarks by Dr. Marco Vinicio Jimenez, Director for the NPPO of Costa Rica and Miguel Angel Arvelo from IICA. The workshop agenda was a well-balanced sequence of history, background and technical information about ISPM 15, and included regional plant protection organization (RPPO) reports on implementation and non-compliance issues with ISPM 15.
Steve Côté from CFIA presented the background and principles of plant quarantine and basic information on the convention and ISPMs with particular emphasis on ISPM 15. Technical information regarding ISPM 15 was presented by Dr. Eric Allen from the Canadian Forestry Service. Dr. Allen also provided information on fungi associated with forest products and the regulatory issues with fungi in wood packaging material. Guidance on implementation of ISPM 15 was provided by Tyrone Jones from APHIS PPQ. Dr. Hannah Nadel, also from PPQ, reported on pest interceptions in wood including identification and origin information and Dr. Rebecca Lee provided the results of the ISPM15 implementation survey in the Americas. Russell Reck (ALSC) and Chuck Dentelbeck (CLSAB) presented information on implementation of treatments, marking systems and controls to reduce fraud. Julio Vila from DHS-CBP shared experiences and interception data on ISPM-15 at the US/Mexico border in Laredo, Texas.
NAPPO, OIRSA, CAN, COSAVE and the Caribbean gave regional reports on implementation and non-compliance of ISPM 15. All presentations are available on the NAPPO website.
The technical information was complemented with a field trip to a pallet manufacturing facility and to the Juan Santamaria International Airport plant inspection facility. The visits provided a unique opportunity for participants and experts to see the problems associated with the ISPM 15 implementation. Participants and experts very enthusiastically engaged in discussions related to real case scenarios.
Participants were placed into six groups for round-table discussions on ISPM 15 implementation and non-compliance issues and to provide recommendations for best practices moving forward. A technical expert and an interpreter were assigned to each group. The workshop concluded with a discussion and presentation of recommendations for best practices; these are available at the NAPPO website.