Introduction to the EPPO Alert List
The main purpose of the Alert List is to draw the attention of EPPO member countries to certain pests possibly presenting a risk to them and achieve early warning. It can also be used by EPPO to select candidates which may be submitted to a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA). In itself, the EPPO Alert List is not a quarantine list, and does not constitute a recommendation for phytosanitary regulations.
Inclusion of pests
The pests are selected by the EPPO Secretariat, mainly from the literature but also from suggestions of NPPOs of member countries. Their addition to the list is marked by an article in the EPPO Reporting Service. All pests on the Alert List are selected because they may present a phytosanitary risk for the EPPO region. The reasons for considering inclusion to the Alert List can be of various nature: e.g. pests which are new to science, new outbreaks recorded in the EPPO region or in other parts of the world, reports of rapid spread.
Short paragraphs are included for each pest to explain why it was selected, to summarize its geographical distribution, main host plants, damage, pathways and to assess possible risks in the EPPO region. A list of sources from which information has been compiled is included and whenever possible, pictures are provided. The collected information is also transferred into the EPPO Global Database.
It must be stressed that the section 'possible risks' is not the result of a PRA according to the EPPO Standards (PM 5) but is a preliminary attempt by the EPPO Secretariat to identify the main elements of risk. Some of the pests may later be selected by relevant EPPO Panels and submitted to a PRA. As a result, they may be added to the EPPO A1 and A2 Lists (lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests) or, if the PRA shows the risk to be low, removed from the Alert List.
The EPPO Alert List is maintained by the EPPO Secretariat and submitted to the critical review of several Panels and the EPPO Working Party on Phytosanitary Measures.
- To achieve early warning, the EPPO Secretariat makes additions to the Alert List as soon as new potential phytosanitary problems are identified.
- The EPPO Secretariat, as appropriate, search for additional information on the pests of the Alert List and update the text accordingly.
- Since the Alert List resides on the EPPO website, constantly updated information can be provided. EPPO member countries can also interact and provide new data to be added.
- The Alert List, including the text on each pest, is reviewed critically every year by the Panel on Phytosanitary Measures and by the Panel on Quarantine Pests for Forestry. This 'consolidated' version is also addressed to the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations for information.
- To keep the Alert List reasonably short, entries are not kept for more than 3 years, if no new information is found or if no particular action has been taken within the EPPO region.