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PPQ’s Role in IPPC and NAPPO

International Standards Setting: The Role of APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine

As the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of the United States, the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program represents our country in the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) communities to develop high-impact international and regional plant health standards. As an active participant and a leader in the plant health standards setting arena, APHIS-PPQ ensures that U.S. interests are well-represented, provides subject matter experts to develop these standards, assists in the development of work plans and identification of strategic priorities, and promotes science-based approaches to harmonize phytosanitary measures.

PPQ and the IPPC (the Convention)

First coming into force in 1952, the IPPC is an international plant protection agreement that aims to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests and promote appropriate measures for their control. There are currently 184 contracting parties to the IPPC, which form the IPPC community. Together, these contracting parties govern phytosanitary activities of the Convention, oversee development of international plant health standards, encourage exchange of official and scientific information, and provide technical assistance to developing member countries.

NPPOs implement the Convention by working in cooperation with regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs), the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM, the governing body of the IPPC), and the IPPC Secretariat. Subject matter experts from the United States and North America participate in the IPPC Standards CommitteeImplementation and Capacity Development Committee, expert working groups (EWGs), and technical panels (TP). In addition, experts from each of PPQ’s Core Functional Areas review all draft standards during IPPC consultation. Experts in APHIS-PPQ also develop documents and positions, which have been sources of significant input to many adopted international standards.

For more information about PPQ’s role in the IPPC, contact Dr. Marina Zlotina, PPQ's IPPC Technical Director, at


Created in 1976, the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is the RPPO for North America. Its member countries are the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAPPO members coordinate efforts to protect regional plant resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of regulated plant pests, while facilitating regional trade into and between member countries.

NAPPO member countries conduct business through the formation of provisional expert groups (EG) and attendance to the NAPPO annual meetings. The NAPPO Executive Committee adopts the yearly NAPPO work program and is responsible for developing NAPPO positions and policies. NAPPO EGs include representatives from each member country who have technical expertise related to the regional standard or document being developed or initiative conducted (e.g. such as workshops related to standards implementation). New project proposals submitted by NAPPO stakeholders are circulated for review to government and industry officials in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States, draft regional standards and other documents are shared with industry, States, and various Government agencies for consideration and comment during NAPPO country consultation. Revisions are compiled and submitted to the EG and the NAPPO Advisory and Management Committee for review and improvement of the draft document. The Executive Committee approves all NAPPO products by consensus. 

For more information about NAPPO, contact Stephanie Dubon, PPQ's NAPPO Technical Director at

International Phytosanitary Standards Team and Harmonization Advisory Group

To support PPQ’s international and regional harmonization work, PPQ established the International Phytosanitary Standards (IPS) team in 2012 to coordinate, oversee, and manage U.S. activities, resources, and efforts. This occurs at two primary standard setting institutions - global plant health standard setting at the IPPC, and regional standards development at NAPPO. The IPS team coordinates and carries out its work with the support of dedicated liaisons from PPQ’s Core Functional Areas, thus engaging the whole of PPQ in IPPC and NAPPO standard setting activities.

Also in 2012, the PPQ Deputy Administrator established a cross functional working group known as the Harmonization Advisory Group (HAG) under a PPQ charter (updated in 2019). The HAG is composed of liaisons from each of PPQ’s Core Functional Areas (Pest Exclusion and Import Program, Emergency and Domestic Programs, Field Operations, and Science and Technology), as well as a representative from the Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM) staff, and the entire IPS team. The HAG provides a virtual organization framework for leveraging resources from across PPQ, coordinating and implementing PPQ strategies, ensuring internally vetted positions, and enabling timely and effective communications with the broader PPQ community in relation to harmonization efforts.

For more information about the International Phytosanitary Standards Team and the Harmonization Advisory Group, contact Stephanie Dubon at

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