The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is pleased with the passage of a final International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) for Seed during the recent International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in Korea.
American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Senior Director of Seed Health and Trade Ric Dunkle, who attended the IPPC, says ASTA has been advocating for a seed ISPM for nearly 20 years.
“We’re trading seed on an international level at an unprecedented rate,” Dunkle explains. “As you increase the volumes and amounts, numbers, different kinds of seed moving around the world, you increase the potential for seeds moving around unwanted pests and disease.”
The snag is that currently countries make their own phytosanitary measures as they see the need, creating different regulations and measures for the same seed across the globe.
“What this standard does is attempts to provide sort of uniform guidance to countries in how to regulate seed movement so these phytosanitary measures can become more harmonized and more predictable,” says Dunkle. “If we can get those [regulations] harmonized from one country to another around the world, then the trade environment becomes much more predictable and certain to our seed industry.”
Dunkle expects the process to take a year to 18 months for countries to amend legislation or regulations.
Hear more about what the new standards will mean here: Interview with Ric Dunkle, ASTA