Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is accepting public comments on the sanitary and phytosanitary standards under consideration by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention, and the North American Plant Protection Organization.

The major functions of the OIE are to collect and disseminate information on the distribution and occurrence of animal diseases and to ensure that science-based standards govern international trade in animals and animal products. The OIE aims to achieve these through the development and revision of international standards for diagnostic tests, vaccines, and the safe international trade of animals and animal products. At the next scheduled OIE general session, 13 Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Code chapters will be proposed for adoption, including on topics such as animal health surveillance and control programs for emerging diseases.

The IPPC aims to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products and to promote appropriate measures for their control through the following activities: developing, adopting, and implementing international standards for phytosanitary measures; harmonizing phytosanitary activities through adopted standards; facilitating the exchange of official and scientific information among countries; and providing technical assistance to developing countries. Projects currently under development and intended for future adoption include phytosanitary certificates in relation to reexports, e-commerce, and phytosanitary treatments.

NAPPO coordinates efforts among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to protect their plant resources from the entry, establishment, and spread of harmful plant pests while facilitating safe intra- and inter-regional trade. Topics currently being worked on include consignments in transit, imports of wooden and bamboo commodities, electronic phytosanitary certification, and live contaminant pests associated with wood commodities and wood packaging.

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