Accreditation Certification and Network Services

Accreditation Certification and Network Services

The accreditation responsibility includes establishing and monitoring accreditation systems within Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). Accreditation is official recognition of proficiency resulting in the approval and authority to perform specific tasks or to provide specific services in support of official obligations such as the issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates. In 2001, PPQ published a rule in the Federal Register ( 7 CFR 353.8 ) allowing APHIS to accredit non-federal entities to perform laboratory testing or phytosanitary inspection services to support export certification activities. As of July, 2009, the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) finalized the Guidelines for Authorization of Entities to Perform Phytosanitary Services . These guidelines represent a regional standard for accreditation.


Certification Programs
The certification responsibility includes establishing and monitoring certification systems within Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). Certification is a quality management process used by PPQ to ensure that pest risk management measures meet applicable standards. The PPQ certification function is performed directly by PPQ inspectors.

The Farm Bill - H.R. 6124 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 - became law in June 2008. Section 10201(d)(1) directs the USDA Secretary of Agriculture to provide funds and technical assistance to specialty crop growers, organizations representing specialty crop growers, and State and local agencies working with specialty crop growers and organizations for the development and implementation of audit-based certification systems.


Section 10202 of the Farm Bill directs the USDA Secretary of Agriculture to establish the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN), a program under which a partnership of clean plant centers is organized for diagnostic and pathogen elimination services to produce clean propagative plant material and maintain blocks of pathogen-tested plant materials in sites located throughout the U.S. Clean plant material may then be made available to States for certified clean plant programs and to private nurseries and producers. In carrying out the NCPN, USDA shall consult with State departments of agriculture, land grant universities, and non land grant colleges of agriculture. Additionally, to the extent practicable, and with appropriate State and industry input, NCPN shall use existing Federal or State facilities to serve as clean plant centers.


Postentry Quarantine
Postentry quarantine is a pest risk mitigation measure designed to enable importers to move planting stock representing a high risk of plant pest dissemination from designated foreign sources into the U.S. The planting stock authorized under postentry quarantine is specified in the Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 319.37-7. Only plant species from foreign countries designated in said regulation are authorized. Final destination is limited to those States with a Postentry Quarantine Agreement. The length of the quarantine period is generally two years with exceptions for some plant species as given in the regulation.