60th Meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations
The 60th Meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations took place in Paris, on 2022-06-22/24. Following the request of the EPPO Council the meeting was held back-to-back with the Working Party on Plant Protection Products so that the two Working Parties could meet together on 2022-06-22 and discuss the links between phytosanitary regulations and plant protection products policy. A separate online report of the joint meeting will be prepared. The meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations was attended by 22 participants from 18 EPPO countries and observers from the European Commission, EU Council, NAPPO, NEPPO and USDA-APHIS. This EPPO Working Party directs and supervises the technical work of many EPPO Panels related to plant health. A summary of the different Panel meetings and Workshops which took place since the last meeting was presented to the Working Party (short summaries of these meetings are posted on this website). The Working Party also discussed the work programme for 2023 and made several recommendations that will be presented to the EPPO Council.
New and revised EPPO recommendations and Standards
The Working Party recommended that 5 new pests (including an invasive alien plant) should be added to EPPO Lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests: Chionaspis pinifoliae, Dendroctonus valens and Grapevine red blotch virus to the EPPO A1 List of pests absent from the region; Solanum carolinense and Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus to the EPPO A2 List of pests present in the region. For each pest, recommended phytosanitary measures are described in a Pest Risk Analysis which will be made available via the EPPO platform on PRAs .
9 new and revised Standards were considered ready to be presented for approval at Council:
- Phytosanitary Procedures (series PM3)
o Guidelines for the management of plant health risks of biowaste of plant origin (revision of PM 3/66)
o Vegetable plants for planting under protected conditions - Inspection of places of production (revision of PM 3/77)
o Phytosanitary Procedures: Inspection of consignments for Xylella fastidiosa (revision of PM 3/81)
o Phytosanitary Procedures: Inspection of places of production for Xylella fastidiosa (revision of PM 3/82)
o Raising professional operators’ awareness of regulated and emerging plant pests (new)
- Production of healthy plants for planting (series PM 4)
o Certification scheme for olive trees and rootstocks (revision of PM 4/17)
- Diagnostic protocols for regulated pests (series PM 7)
o Use of EPPO diagnostic protocols (revision of PM 7/76: addendum)
o Guidelines for the organization of interlaboratory comparisons by plant pest diagnostic laboratories (revision of PM 7/122)
o Considerations for the use of High Throughput Sequencing in plant health diagnostics (new)
The Working Party also noted the adoption of the following Diagnostic Protocols (series PM 7) approved since its last meeting according to the specific fast-track procedure:
o PM 7/007 and PM 7/008 revised and combined into a single Standard PM 7/007 Aleurocanthus citriperdus, Aleurocanthus spiniferus and Aleurocanthus woglumi
o PM 7/021 Ralstonia solanacearum, R. pseudosolanacearum and R. syzygii (Ralstonia solanacearum species complex) (revision)
o PM 7/030 Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (revision)
o PM 7/040 Globodera rostochiensis and Globodera pallida (revision)
o PM 7/053 Liriomyza spp. (revision)
o PM 7/094 Hirschmanniella spp. (revision)
o PM 7/099 Clavibacter insidiosus (revision)
o PM 7/116 Tetranychus evansi (revision)
o PM 7/120 Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (revision)
o PM 7/150 ‘Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium’ (new)
The EPPO Secretariat presented the progress made on the EPPO-Q-bank database . The Working Party was informed that the EPPO Secretariat is organizing a scientific symposium at the International Plant Health Conference in London (2022-09-21/23), in collaboration with the IPPC Secretariat and members of the IPPC Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols. The Secretariat highlighted that the preparation of the new Standard on High Throughput Sequencing and the revision of the Standard on interlaboratory comparisons (PM 7/122) was based on the outcome of an EU funded research project VALITEST .
Based on PRAs presented, the Working Party did not recommend the addition of Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV), Temperate fruit decay associated virus (TFDaV) and Solanum viarum to EPPO Lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests. Regarding ToMMV the Working Party recommended that surveys to understand better the current distribution in the EPPO region are needed. Concerning, TFDaV the EPPO Secretariat should continue to monitor the literature. The Working Party agreed that Expert Working Groups (EWGs) for PRA should be organized for one invasive alien plant (Ageratina adenophora or Zizania latifolia), and, by order of priority, on Phyllachora maydis (tar spot of maize) and Agrilus mali (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).
The Working Party recommended to explore the need for updating information and to revise Standards on Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax. It was agreed to organize an EWG on the terminology for PM 4 Standards and to delay the revision of PM 4/8 on grapevine, with the intention to work on it in 2024. A new guidance document to ensure consistent use of pest-free place of production (PFPP), pest-free production site (PFPS) and pest freedom of the crop in EPPO recommendations was endorsed.
Biological Control Agents
The Working Party agreed with the Panel proposal to add Exochomus quadripustulatus, Micromus angulatus, Pronematus ubiquitous and Trissolcus basalis to Standard PM 6/3 Biological control agents safely used in the EPPO region (‘Positive List’). A revised procedure for amendments to the List was approved. Information was provided on the ongoing Study on the ‘Union’s situation and options regarding the introduction, production, evaluation, marketing and use of invertebrate biological control agents (IBCAs) within the territory of the [European] Union’. The Study will establish the current extent of use of IBCAs, the potential for further development and their current regulatory status in the different EU Member States and should be made available by the end of 2022.
An update was given on the ongoing development of the EPPO platform on communication material (launched after the Working Party in August 2022), on activities performed to improve host plant lists in EPPO Global Database by providing bibliographic sources and more exhaustive lists of host plants, on EPPO Codes, as well as on the ‘datasheet’ project performed under a grant agreement between EPPO and the European Commission. This Project consists of developing/revising datasheets for 320 pests between 2020 and 2024. As of June 2022, 177 datasheets have been published in EPPO Global Database and a further 33 have been drafted by authors. A workshop on improving pest reporting will be organized in spring 2023. During the meeting, it was also recommended to enrich EPPO Global Database with photos made available by member countries (a practical guide on how to submit pictures is available).
The Working Party reviewed the suggestions for deletion of pests from the Alert list and was informed of the additions made since the last meeting. The Alert List draws the attention of EPPO member countries to certain pests possibly presenting a risk to them in order to achieve early warning.
Plant Health Links in the EPPO Region
The following main issues were discussed: ePhyto, IPPC Sea Container Task Force, Plant health links with the EU and the EEC, as well as collaboration with EFSA, NAPPO and NEPPO. The intention to organize a possible joint EPPO-NEPPO activity on pests of interest for Mediterranean countries was announced.
The Working Party was updated on the starting/ongoing projects where EPPO is involved. In particular, EPPO will take part in the 4-year EU Project Bexyl ‘Beyond Xylella, Integrated Management Strategies for Mitigating Xylella fastidiosa impact in Europe’. After an update on Euphresco’s activities, it was agreed that a brainstorming session will be organized in 2023 so that the Working Party further contributes to the identification of research topics for transnational collaboration.
It was recommended to further share the announcement concerning EPPO’s recruitment for the Assistant Director position. The next Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations is planned in Uzbekistan in June 2023.