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The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC): Six decades of international cooperation for the protection of the world’s plant resources

Robert Griffin: USDA-APHIS-Plant Protection and Quarantine

<div>The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is an international treaty for cooperation in plant protection that has marked its history and impacts in three distinct periods reflecting the prevailing attitudes of governments toward regulatory plant protection. The Convention came into force in 1952 as one of many post-war initiatives designed to reduce trade friction by encouraging cooperation and shared responsibility. These ideals were reflected in the original design of the Convention, and especially the establishment of phytosanitary certification processes. The period that followed saw the IPPC increasing in complexity with a strong emphasis on technical maturity; clarifying concepts, terminology, and applications with a growing focus on trade. The last, and most recent period began with the intersection of the IPPC and the World Trade Organization Agreement of the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. This relationship thrust the IPPC into the fore of trade policy with responsibility for establishing international standards for phytosanitary measures applied in cross-border commerce. A major revision of the Convention accompanied organizational transformations to establish the institution we recognize today. Guidance in place and being developed by the IPPC promotes risk-based decision making toward the objective of safe trade.</div>

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