Phytosanitary Measures in India
In India Phytosanitary Measures are regulated since the beginning of the 19th Century through the Destructive Insects & Pests Act (DIP Act), 1914.
Section 3 of the Act empowers Central Government to prohibit or restrict the import into India of any article or class of articles likely to cause infection to any crop or of insects generally or any class of insects, by a notification published in Gazette of India.
The Section 4 of the DIP Act empowers the Customs to operate the notifications issued under DIP Act, as if the same issued under Section 11k of Customs Act, 1962.
Section 4A of the Act empowers Central Government to restrict the export from a State or transport from one State to another State of any article or class of articles likely to cause infection to any crop or of insects generally or any class of insects.
In the wake of WTO and SPS (Sanitary & Phytosanitary) Agreement, Government of India has revised and notified a new ‘Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003 under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Destructive Insects & Pest Act, 1914.
WTO is responsible for establishing rules of trade between nations and IPPC is the recognized international standard setting body for plant health under the WTO-SPS.
What is IPPC?
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is a multilateral treaty for international cooperation in plant protection. The purpose of the IPPC is to secure common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. The Convention was adopted by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at its Sixth Session in 1951.Nearly 177 countries have signed its instrument of adherence and India is a member of IPPC since 1952. It is a standard setting organization and its aims are to:
- Prevent introduction & spread of pests
- Promote fair & safe trade
- Protect plant life
- Countries have the right to use phytosanitary measures
- Measures should be:
– only applied when necessary
– technically justified
– no more restrictive than necessary to address risk
- National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO)
- Regulate imports
- Publish phytosanitary requirements
- Conduct surveillance, treatments and certify exports
- Share information on pests and regulations
- Notify trading partners of non-compliance
The IPPC has published more than 34 International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures which have the consensus of the member countries.
INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
|Plant Protection||IPPC- makes provisions for trade in a plant protection agreement.|
|Trade||SPS- makes complimentary provisions for plant protection in a trade agreement.|
|Protecting biological diversity||CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity)|
|Living Modified Organisms (LMOs)||Cartagena Protocol|
|Food Standards||Codex Alimentarius Commission|
The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of WTO envisages application of Phytosanitary measures which should be:
– consistent with international standards
– justified by scientific principles and evidence
– harmonized to the extent possible
– transparent / notified / non-discriminatory
– only as restrictive as necessary to meet the appropriate level of protection;
therefore it is imperative to conduct all Plant Quarantine inspections as per the International Standards/guidelines. Accordingly, the National Standards are required to be prepared in line with the approved International Standards by International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for various plant quarantine activities. As such, Government of India has already developed the National Standards for Phytosanitary Measures for some of the important activities including the Survey & Surveillance methodology for identifying Pest-free areas in the Country for diversifying our exports vis-à-vis Guidelines and accreditation of different Phytosanitary Treatment Providers.