Accreditation Systems and Programs

Accreditation Systems and Programs

Minituber (Solanum tuberosum) Laboratory Testing Pilot with Private Laboratories

APHIS will provisionally approve qualified private laboratories to conduct pathogen testing of minitubers (Solanum tuberosum) and plant tissues used for the production of minitubers in support of U.S. export certification beginning August 2016.  This pilot will allow APHIS to evaluate the use of private laboratory pathogen test results for phytosanitary certification prior to pursuing implementation through rulemaking.

To qualify for the pilot, private laboratories must have International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025 accreditation for laboratory testing of plants and plant product pathogens. Interested laboratories must complete and sign the application form and meet all applicable APHIS requirements to participate. To request the application form, please send an email to PPQexportservices@aphis.usda.gov.

During the pilot, industry may use laboratory test results from approved private entities when they apply for minituber phytosanitary certification. Once entities complete the application process, a list of approved laboratories will be provided on this page.

APHIS’ other accreditation programs—the State National Harmonization Program  and the National Seed Health System —will continue to operate without any policy or operational changes. 

For more information about this pilot, please send an email to PPQexportservices@aphis.usda.gov .

National Seed Health System (NSHS) 
The NSHS was established by 7 CFR 353.9 . The NSHS specifies standards for laboratory seed health tests and seed crop field inspections used for issuing phytosanitary certificates that meet international regulations pertaining to seed exports from the United States.


State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) 
This SNHP for seed potatoes specifies minimum phytosanitary standards to enhance uniformity and quality in seed potatoes shipped between states; enhance marketing of high quality commercial potatoes grown in the U.S.; and enhance international marketing of quality seed potatoes exported from the U.S. Requirements for participants include minimum standards set by State regulatory authorities for certification of seed potatoes to facilitate interstate shipment, export and cooperation in pest management.

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