2nd EPPO Workshop for heads of laboratories

Hammamet, TN, 2013-05-07/09

- Plant pest diagnostic laboratories: towards national and regional reference laboratories –

The second Workshop for Heads of plant pest diagnostic laboratories was organized in Hammamet on 2013-05-07/09 at the kind invitation of the Tunisian NPPO. Thirty six heads and deputy heads of plant pest diagnostic laboratories from 20 countries attended the Workshop.


Workshop participants - View more pictures 


This was the second meeting of Heads of plant pest diagnostic laboratories and the main objective was to promote exchanges of views on strategic issues for diagnostics. Participants had been given the opportunity to suggest topics for discussion and the main theme of the Workshop “plant pest diagnostic laboratories: towards national and regional reference laboratories” was chosen based on these suggestions.


The Workshop started with presentations from different laboratories of their experience. A presentation of the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for bee health was made as well as a presentation of the revision of the Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 by the European Commission Directorate General Safety of the food Chain (SANCO). The scope of this regulation will extend to the plant health and plant reproductive material sectors (seeds included) so that a network of National Reference Laboratories and EURLs can also be established in the plant health sector.


In addition to the plenary presentations, three subgroups were formed to discuss the following topics:

  • Accreditation what are the needs of laboratories?
  • Organization of proficiency testing (PT) and test performance studies (TPS): what are the challenges?
  • Roles of National Reference Laboratories (NRL)
  • Reference material
  • Possible scope of regional reference laboratories


Each group reported back to the plenary. Discussions in subgroups were very active and several recommendations  have been identified as a result of these discussions.