SADC Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures for Seed

The purpose of the SADC Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures for Seed System is to reduce costs related to seed trade and encourage faster and safer movement of seed. This is reached through:

  • Establishment of transparent and science-based common Standards and Procedures for seed movement in the SADC region, supported by documentation; and
  • Through the introduction of rationalized SADC pest lists for the movement of seed between Member States, and from outside countries into the SADC region.

The SADC Seed Centre, with technical support from the SADC Seed Committee and National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs), assist Member States with the documentation of current measures and their impacts on seed exchange; facilitate the organization of technical reviews to develop better standards and procedures, and to secure that new initiatives are in line with regional and international agreements; design and support efforts that will secure political support to rationalize and harmonized regulations; assist in the establishment of databases to record current national regulations and key documents, issuance of permits (including seed quantities involved), critical issues, and disputes; keep Member States informed via the SADC FANR website and through other means; and assist in sourcing funding to support the above activities.

The SADC Seed Centre works in close collaboration with the NPPOs and supports the organization of regional meetings to address: the development and updating of phytosanitary guidelines and procedures for seed; identification and recommendation of better methodologies for utilization in the phytosanitary system(s) for seed; and development of methods to monitor and provide technical backstopping to the established system(s).

Two rationalized pest lists have been introduced: (i) a SADC list of pests which require control when seed is traded between SADC Member States, and (ii) a SADC list of pests which require control when seed is traded into a SADC country from outside the region. The lists only include pests that are of economic significance, are not common in the SADC region, and are seed borne.

For seed movement between SADC Member States, the advantages of the rationalized list are as follows:

  • Testing and quarantine measures for seed are only required for diseases which are not common in all SADC Member States, are seed borne, and are of economic importance;
  • Since all SADC Member States are testing for the same diseases, retesting of seed consignments on arrival in the importing country may be reduced and may eventually be no longer necessary − except in cases where there are concrete reasons to assume that a new pest and/or disease may be introduced;
  • The need for a country to test seed which is to be re-exported after a period in transit may be reduced; and
  • Since fewer pests will need to be checked at entry points, clearance and entry of consignments should be faster.

In the case of seed movement from a country outside SADC to a SADC country, the advantage is that when it has been established by the importing SADC country that the consignment meets SADC requirements, then the seed can be moved to any other SADC country without further testing.

To learn more about the SADC Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures for Seed System, see Section 4 in the Technical Agreements on Harmonization of Seed Regulations in the SADC Region.

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