Report from APPPC Systems Approach Workshop

Publication date
20 Dec 2015

Participants from 20 countries attended the APPPC System Approach workshop that was held in Bangkok from 30 November to 4 December 2015. It opened with a detailed study of the building of systems approaches. This included discussions on plant quarantine principles, dependent and independent measures, and the sources of systems approaches measures – growing, harvest, post‐ harvest, transport, distribution and intended use. The stages of pest risk analysis, the options for pest risk management and the characteristics of a systems approach were discussed in details. The fundamentals that an NPPO needs to understand in the building of a systems approach were: the pest biology and association with the export commodity; commercial production practices; residual risk that needs application of phytosanitary measures; points where measures can be applied and that measures must be least trade restrictive, well defined and appropriately adopted; linked to named pests and effective against them; adequately documented, monitored and validated with mechanisms for corrective action.
Other aspects of systems approaches were discussed including: audit and verification; the responsibilities of trading countries; and the nature of an export protocol. The preparation of an SA was described in detail including activities to: determine the hazards and the objectives for measures within a defined system; identify independent procedures that can be monitored and controlled; establish criteria or limits for the acceptance/failure of each independent procedure; implement the system with monitoring as required for the desired level of confidence; take corrective action when monitoring results indicate that criteria are not met; review or test to validate system efficacy and confidence; and maintain adequate records and documentation.
Much of the workshop was devoted to a simulation exercises on the development and negotiation of a systems approach. The participants were divided up into 6 teams of 4‐5 persons. Each team was given a task which included the development of phytosanitary import requirements and a systems approach for commodity exports. The teams were to create a systems approach proposal for two tomato commodities for its pseudo‐country to export to another pseudo‐country. The teams were then to arrange phytosanitary import requirements for the import of two different tomato commodities from a different pseudo‐country. Imaginary pests (pseudonisms – 28 of them) and pseudo‐countries were created for the exercise.
The exercise took place in seven stages. These were:
1. ‐ the building a Systems Approach proposal and development of a quarantine pest list
2. ‐ each team acted as an exporting country to create a Systems Approach proposal which was then presented to the designated importing country. Then each team acted as an importing country and examined the systems approach proposal presented for the proposed imports to their country.
‐ the teams negotiated with each other on the systems approaches proposal as importing and exporting