59th meeting of the Panel on Phytosanitary Measures
The Panel met in Paris in the EPPO headquarters on 2019-03-20/22. The main task of this Panel is to evaluate risks presented by specific pests and design phytosanitary measures to avoid their introduction and spread. The Panel had a joint session with the EPPO Panel on Quarantine Pests for Forestry to discuss issues of interest for both groups: in particular, this included the Study on bark and ambrosia beetles on non-coniferous wood, the PM 9 Standard on Heterobasidion irregulare which will be presented to the next Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations in view of its adoption by Council in September 2019 and the PM 3 Standard on Sentinel woody plants which is under development.
Joint session between the Panel on Phytosanitary Measures and the Panel on Quarantine Pests for Forestry
The Panel reviewed in detail PRAs prepared by the Expert Working Groups (EWGs) for PRA to agree on phytosanitary measures to be recommended for the pests concerned, and it also reviewed national PRAs. The Panel recommended to the Working Party the addition of the following pests to the EPPO A2 List: Agrilus bilineatus and A. fleischeri (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).
Following recent progress in taxonomy, the Panel recommended that Ceratocystis fagacearum should be renamed Bretziella fagacearum in the EPPO A2 List of pests recommended for regulation and that Bactrocera invadens, B. papayae and B. philippinensis should be synonymized as Bactrocera dorsalis in the EPPO A1 List of pests recommended for regulation. The Panel will further discuss the categorization of Stagonosporopsis crystalliniformis and S. andigena at next Panel meeting.
The Panel reviewed the present situation of outbreaks of A1 pests in the region and recommended that Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) should be transferred from the EPPO A1 to the A2 List. This will be further discussed by the Working Party.
The Panel reviewed the EPPO Alert List (the purpose of this List is to warn countries about possible new risks, and in certain cases to propose candidates for PRA and, if relevant, recommend them for regulation). Considering that the alert had been given, the Panel decided to delete Contarinia pseudotsugae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), Strauzia longipennis (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Heterodera elachista (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae). Emerging pests and diseases suggested for addition to the Alert List were briefly presented (e.g. Agrilus mali, Chrysobothris femorata, Tetranychus mexicanus and the beech leaf disease).
In addition to the review of PRAs prepared by EWGs, the Panel also reviewed national PRAs on Meloidogyne ethiopica and M. luci as well as on M. graminicola. Specific recommendations will need to be developed for these pests (see below).
The Panel discussed the guidance document to define the optimal size of a buffer zone for a Pest-Free Area or for eradication, after revision within an Expert Working Group. Once tested this draft guidance will be made available on the EPPO webpage on PRA activities.
The Panel established the priorities for the organization of EWGs for PRA for the year to come. The selection was made taking into account the following elements: geographical distribution, importance of the crop(s) concerned, risk of natural spread into the region or for further spread within the region, potential pathways, economic impact, environmental impact, possibilities of control, similarities to other known cases, availability and validity of data. The Panel agreed that Tomato brown rugose fruit virus was the highest priority, followed by Gymnandrosoma aurantianum.
The yearly Work Programme includes a total of five EWGs to perform PRAs or support PRA activities. Three additional EWGs were identified by the Panel, respectively on:
- viruses of grapevine breeding material,
- risk management measures for Meloidogyne ethiopica, M. luci and M. graminicola,
- testing the buffer zone guidance document for Heterobasidion irregulare and the thousand cankers disease (and its vector).
The priorities for an EPPO PRA and the additional topics to be discussed in an EWG this year will be discussed by the Working Party.
The Panel also discussed the principle to allow non-EPPO countries institutes to provide their PRAs through the EPPO platform on PRAs. The Panel was in favour, provided that NPPOs and RPPOs are involved. This will be presented to the Working Party.
The Panel was presented with recent work on the improvement of Global Database in relation to the host plants and the future project to update datasheets for all EPPO A1/A2 pests. A list of priorities for revision and preparation of datasheets was discussed.
The Panel agreed on a revised version of the introduction of PM 1/2 EPPO A1 and A2 lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests, which will be presented in June to the Working Party.
The Panel reviewed comments made during country consultation on the draft PM 9 Standard ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ species that are causal agents of Huanglongbing disease of citrus and their vectors: procedures for official control, which will be finalized in a small Expert Working Group by videoconference before being presented for adoption to the next Working Party.
Based on the replies to a questionnaire, the Panel also discussed priorities for revising EPPO PM 4 Standards Production of Healthy Plants for Planting. The Panel suggested to include the revision of 12 of these Standards in the EPPO Work Programme.
The Panel was presented the recent, ongoing and future Euphresco projects relevant for the Panel on Phytosanitary Measures.
The next Panel meeting is planned 2019-10-22/24 in Germany.