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Import Inspection and Certification

The objective of a phytosanitary import regulatory system is to prevent the introduction of quarantine pests or limit the entry of regulated non-quarantine pests with imported commodities and other regulated articles.

A phytosanitary import regulatory system should consist of two components:

  • a regulatory framework of phytosanitary legislation, phytosanitary regulations and phytosanitary procedures; and
  • an official service, the national plant protection organization (NPPO), responsible for operation or oversight of the system.

The legal framework should include legal authority for the NPPO to carry out its duties; phytosanitary measures with which imported commodities should comply; other phytosanitary measures (including prohibitions) concerning imported commodities and other regulated articles; and phytosanitary actions that may be taken when incidents of non-compliance or incidents requiring emergency action are detected.

It may include phytosanitary measures concerning consignments in transit. In operating a phytosanitary import regulatory system, the NPPO has a number of responsibilities. These include the responsibilities identified in Article IV.2 of the IPPC relating to import including surveillance, inspection, disinfestation or disinfection, the conduct of pest risk analysis, and training and development of staff. These responsibilities involve related functions in areas such as administration; audit and compliance checking; action taken on non-compliance; emergency action; authorization of personnel; and settlement of disputes. In addition, contracting parties may assign to NPPOs other responsibilities, such as regulatory development and modification. NPPO resources are needed to carry out these responsibilities and functions. There are also requirements for international and national liaison, documentation, communication and review.

For more information, refer to ISPM 20 Guidelines for a phytosanitary import regulatory system

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