Rolling out phytosanitary measures to expand market access

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Rolling out phytosanitary measures to expand market access

The project aimed to strengthen the capacity to implement phytosanitary measures in order to maintain and improve phytosanitary status, thereby facilitating trade in agricultural goods in the region of the member countries of the Southern Cone Plant Health Committee (COSAVE) and helping to maintain or improve access to foreign markets. To that end, the goal was to build up a regional phytosanitary information system, to enhance the capacity for pest risk analysis, inspection and phytosanitary certification, and to create tools and build up the capacity to assess the impact of the implementation of phytosanitary measures.

A project fact sheet is available here.


The growth in trade in plants and products of plant origin over the past decade has led to a significant increase in the risk of introduction and spread of regulated pests. Countries face the challenge of facilitating the international movement of people, goods and services while ensuring that their phytosanitary status does not present risks exceeding the level identified as appropriate by the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO). This means protecting plant resources without negatively affecting trade flows more than strictly necessary on the basis of existing scientific knowledge. The challenge is considerable, particularly for the developing countries.

The countries that participated in this project were producers, exporters and importers of plants and products of plant origin, and had a significant share in intra- and extra-regional trade. The implementation of phytosanitary measures was therefore a matter of concern for them, as was trade facilitation and market access. There were clear differences among them when it comes to implementing phytosanitary measures, but all of them recognized the need to improve the procedures involved.

The project aimed to create tools and build up capacity so that the beneficiary countries could improve the implementation of their phytosanitary measures on the basis of a regional and innovative approach. These tools and this capacity building targeted specific concerns were identified through work done at the regional level by technical panels and the COSAVE Steering Committee and by applying the IICA Performance, Vision and Strategy (PVS) tool.

Expected Results 

Strengthened phytosanitary surveillance (general and specific)

Technical capacity building will be achieved by: (i) training NPPO staff responsible for general and specific phytosanitary surveillance; and (ii) developing tools to facilitate the linking of information and regional work. This improvement in capacity will be made possible by expert workshops, the development of tools and implementation guides, and case studies for the region. Sharing ideas and information, and developing and implementing systems and processes on a regional and participative basis, will help to close the gaps between the beneficiary countries and to boost confidence between the NPPOs of those countries. The methodology, implementation guides and case studies will be published with a view to creating the resources needed to protect the phytosanitary status as a public good in the countries of the region and other regions of the world.

Strengthened capacities in the area of pest risks analysis

The technical capacity building process will involve the training of NPPO officials in the theory and implementation of processes to assess economic, non-trade and environmental impact in relation to pest risk analysis. Workshops and forums will be organized to that end. A participatory approach will be used to develop application guides and regional case studies in the mentioned subject areas. Capacity building and case studies will be carried out on the basis of International Standard ISPM No. 11, "Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests" (IPPC). These tools and case studies will be published in order to create the resources needed to protect the phytosanitary status as a public good in the countries of the region and other regions of the world.

Strengthened inspection and phytosanitary certification capacities

Technical capacity building of phytosanitary inspectors will be carried out through the development of national training modules addressing the regulatory and technical specificities of each country. These training modules will have both remote components using virtual media, and face-to-face components. The NPPOs will use them as a tool to train and motivate their inspectors. These will be pilot modules, the idea being to establish some kind of systematicity and sustainability in their implementation at the national and international levels. To that end, account will be taken of good practices identified in implementing projects involving a similar approach. The tools that are developed will be available to the countries of the region as well as to the Secretariats of the STDF and the IPPC, and could hence be used on a global scale.

Assessment of the impact of implementing the phytosanitary measures

Two tools will be developed to help countries to assess costs and identify the benefits and desired – as well as undesired – impact of implementing specific phytosanitary measures. These tools will be developed with an eye to the specific requirements of a methodology designed to assess the impact of the phytosanitary measures applied by the NPPOs.

This will help to identify the adjustments that will have to be made for the phytosanitary measures to be able to produce the desired results, their purpose being to maintain or improve the phytosanitary status of the countries of the region; and at the same time, it should contribute to improving market access and facilitating trade in products of plant origin. The tools will be tested in a minimum of three case studies so that the necessary adjustments can be made in order to ensure that they fit the objectives and requirements originally defined.

These tools and case studies will be published in order to create the resources needed to protect the phytosanitary status as a public good in the countries of the region and other regions of the world.

Reference Number 
Project Value (US$) 
STDF Contribution (US$)  
Implementing Entities 
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
National Plant Protection Organisations of all of the beneficiary countries
Southern Cone Plant Health Committee (COSAVE)