The EU, through Council Directive 2000/29/EC, provides mechanisms for “protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community”. The Directive is essentially a listing of all the potentially harmful pests already identified by the EU Member States and by the Standing Committee on Plant Health and links these pests to particular pathways. Similar list-based approaches have been adopted globally and there are many similarities and overlaps in procedures by different countries, trading groups and RPPOs, all of whom link to both the IPPC and the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement).
PERMIT will contribute to the ongoing development of improved phytosanitary measures in EU and global contexts, particularly since the contributors to the Action include countries external to COST. By focussing on the component of phytosanitary risk that, by definition, provides clear opportunities for international transfer of pests, the Action is also well placed to quantify those risks generically and, thereby, to consider generic methods for their reduction – “manage once, remove many”.