National Plant Board

Plant Quarantine, Nursery Inspection, and Certification Guidelines

Appendix C


Words and terms used in these guidelines are listed and defined in alphabetical order in this Appendix. The North American Plant Protection Organization’s (NAPPO) Basic Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms also is referenced here in that 1) international trade in North America is affected by them and 2) federal, state and local pest prevention officials responsible for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates exported from the United States to Canada or Mexico should be familiar with them.


“Acceptable level” means the probable level of harm that is so low that the imposition of phytosanitary requirements is not required; or the probable level of harm that the trade partners agree to achieve through by the imposition of pest risk mitigation measures or strategies and accept for continued trade when confirmed by phytosanitary certification of specified host commodities.

“Agent” means any person who on behalf of any other person receives on consignment, contracts for, or solicits for sale on commission, any plant product from a producer of such product, or who negotiates the consignment or purchase of any plant product on behalf of any other person.

“Agricultural commodities” means plant products including any horticultural product.

“Appliance” means any box, tray, container, ladder, tent vehicle, implement or other article which is, or may be, used in connection with the growing, harvesting, handling, or transportation of any agricultural commodity.

“Area” means any political division or subdivision or any officially defined area including adjacent parts of contiguous political divisions or subdivisions. [Political divisions include nations and states or provinces within them. Political subdivisions include counties, parishes or municipios (in Mexico), and cities or municipalities. Officially defined areas also may include any other clearly defined and identifiable area including a specific property or facility.]

“Biotic agent” means any living entity.

“Broker” means any person who negotiates the purchase or sale of any plant product. A broker may not, however, handle either the plant product which is involved or the proceeds of a sale.

“Certificate” means a document authorized or prepared by a duly authorized federal or state regulatory official that affirms, declares, or verifies that an article, nursery stock, plant, product, shipment or any other officially regulated thing meets phytosanitary (quarantine), nursery inspection, pest freedom, plant registration or certification, or any other set of legal requirements. Such documents are known by the purpose of their issuance: Phytosanitary certificate [for the purpose of verifying compliance with phytosanitary (quarantine) requirements]; nursery stock certificate (for the purpose of verifying compliance with nursery inspection and pest freedom standards); registration or certification tags, seals, etc. (for the purpose of verifying compliance with registration or certification requirements); etc.

“Certification” means the act (by a duly authorized regulatory official) of affirming, declaring, or verifying compliance with phytosanitary (quarantine), nursery inspection, pest freedom, plant registration or certification, or any other set of legal requirements.

“Commission merchant” means any person, who:

a) Receives on consignment or solicits any plant product from a licensee or producer of the product.

b) Accepts any plant product in trust from a licensee or the producer of the product for purposes of sale.

c) Sells any plant product on commission.

d) Handles any plant product in any way for the account of or as an agent of the consignor of the product. Any person who accepts a plant product from the producer of such product for the purpose of sale or resale is a commission merchant, unless the person has bought, or agreed to buy, the plant product by a contract which designates the price to be paid to the seller.

“Compliance agreement” means any written agreement between a person and a regulatory agency to achieve compliance with any set of requirements being enforced by the agency.

“Consignee” means any person to whom any plant, nursery stock, horticultural product, agricultural commodity or plant product is shipped for handling, sale, or resale, or any other purpose.

“Consignor” means any person who ships or delivers to any consignee any plant, nursery stock, horticultural product, agricultural commodity or plant product for handling, planting, sale, or resale, or any other purpose.

“Consumer” means any user of any article, nursery stock, plant, plant product, regulated product, or shipment.

“Crop seed” means the seed or seedlike fruit of grain, beans, flax, beets, onions, or any other crop whether or not it is intended for planting purposes.

“Dealer” means any person who obtains title to, or possession, control, or delivery of, any plant product from a producer at a designated price for the purpose of resale, or who buys or agrees to buy any plant product from a producer of the plant product at a designated price.

“Delimitation survey” means systematic search to determine the extent of an area infested by, or free from, a target pest.

“Detection survey” means systematic search to determine the presence or absence of a target pest.

“Does not occur” means that a valid detection survey has been conducted and the pest was not found; or, that any previous incidents of the pest in the area were eradicated or otherwise eliminated. (Pests known to be widespread or cosmopolitan in areas adjacent to an endangered area are presumed to be present in the endangered area unless definitely demonstrated to be absent.)

“Free from” means that a valid detection survey has been performed showing that a specific pest is not present; or that the article, nursery stock, plant, plant product or any other regulated thing has been visually inspected or tested in accordance with specified requirements and that no live life stage of regulated pest(s) was found.

“Economic impacts” means significant damage or harm in terms of well documented: a) plant or crop destruction or injury; b) increased cultural or pest control costs; c) disruption of existing pest control strategies such as biological control, integrated pest management, sustainable agriculture or forestry, and cropping patterns or loss of a high value crop without replacement by an equally valuable and marketable crop; d) social adversities such as interference with home/urban gardening, human health, worker safety, food safety, or jobs; or e) environmental quality including added pesticide use, scenic and watershed damage, destruction of ecosystems, and food chain interference.

“Endangered area” means continent, region, country, state, county, province, municipality or any other discretely delineated political or otherwise lawfully constituted geographic area which has been officially identified for protection from injurious pests not already present.

“Endemic pest” means native (indigenous) pests or pests permanently established in a state.

“Eradication” means elimination of a pest based on absence determined by negative, mutually agreed upon, verification survey for the target pest. (Pest control is sometimes more broadly or generically defined to include all actions taken to reduce or eliminate pest populations including control, eradication, management, and suppression. See Appendix H, page 69, as an example.)

“Exotic pest” means non-native (non-indigenous) pests or pests not known to occur in a state.

“Farm product” includes every agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, and vegetable product of the soil, and bees and apiary products, hay, dried beans, honey, and cut flowers.

“Horticultural product” means those products stated in Group 18 of the United States Department of Labor Standard Industrial Classification Manual which are grown under cover or outdoors, including bulbs, flowers, shrubbery, florist greens, fruit stock, floral products, nursery stock, ornamental plants, potted plants, roses, seed, sod, Christmas trees, fruits, food crops grown in greenhouses, vegetables, and horticultural specialties not otherwise specified.

“Hold order” means any written directive [issued by a duly authorized regulatory official to a person who owns or controls any appliance, article, nursery stock, plant, plant product or any other article that has been determined to be, or likely to be, infested with regulated pest(s)] prohibiting movement from one location to another, except as otherwise prescribed in the directive.

“Host” means any appliance, article, commodity, nursery stock, plant, plant product or any other thing which is capable of transporting a pest from one place to another. (Hosts vary considerably in the degree to which they may facilitate the movement of a pest from one place to another. These variations must be taken into consideration in pest risk analysis and mitigation.)

“Infested” means officially determined to be contaminated by a pest using prescribed methods.

“Inspector” means any person duly authorized by a regulatory agency to perform any required regulatory activity.

“License” means a document issued by a state regulatory agency authorizing any person to engage in the nursery business at a particular location under a specified business name.

“Methods other than phytosanitary measures” include plant registration and certification programs, nursery stock and other commodity pest freedom standards, special permits, compliance agreements, etc. These methods might provide an acceptable level of phytosanitary security for moderate to low impact quarantine pests.

“Move” means to ship, offer for shipment, receive for transport, carry or, in any manner whatsoever, relocate a regulated thing from one place to another.

“Mutually agreed upon” means agreement between or among trading partners as to pest eradication criteria or requirements, phytosanitary measures, or survey methods.

“New occurrence” means a pest occurrence not previously officially reported or a subsequent occurrence of a pest previously eradicated.

“Noxious weed” means any species of plant which is, or is liable to be, troublesome, aggressive, intrusive, detrimental, or destructive to agriculture, silviculture, or important native species, is difficult to control or eradicate, and which a plant protection agency designates by law to be a noxious weed.

“Nursery” means any location where nursery stock is grown, propagated, stored, or sold; or any location from which nursery stock is distributed direct to a customer. (See “Sales location”)

“Nursery stock” means any plant for planting, propagation, or ornamentation.

“Occurrence” means current presence of an endemic or exotic pest in an area.

“Official” means authorized, implemented and directed, or performed by a governmental plant protection organization.

“Officially controlled” means the conduct, by an official public pest prevention agency, of eradication or intensive suppression activity including various treatments, quarantine and other measures with the goal of eliminating an isolated infestation or prevention of further spread within the endangered area. It does not include private general agricultural, urban forestry, or home garden pest control measures conducted by individuals against pests permanently established in an endangered area.

“Pathway” means any natural or artificial means or avenue that allows for the movement of a pest from one area to another.

“Permit” means any document issued by a duly authorized regulatory official that allows the movement of any regulated thing from one location to another in accordance with specified conditions or requirements and for a specified purpose.

“Person” includes firm, corporation, company, limited liability company, or association.

“Pest” means any biotic agent (any living agent capable of reproducing itself) or any of the following that is known to cause damage or harm to agriculture or the environment:

a) Any infectious, transmissible, or contagious disease of any plant; or any disorder of any plant which manifests symptoms or behavior which, after investigation and hearing, is found and determined by a duly constituted federal, state or local pest prevention agency, to be characteristic of an infectious, transmissible, or contagious disease.

b) Any form of animal life.

c) Any form of plant life.

“Pest control” means the reduction of pest populations to the point that economic damage, injury or loss is reduced to an economically tolerable level. (Pest control is sometimes more broadly or generically defined to include all actions taken to reduce or eliminate pest populations including control, eradication, management, and suppression. See Appendix H, page 69, as an example.)

“Pest free area” means an area kept free from a specific pest.

“Pest management” (See “Pest control”)

“Pest risk analysis” means characterizing the nature of pest hazard or harm; identifying the degree of probability or likelihood of harm; analyzing the degree to which risk mitigation measures or strategies can reduce the probability of harm to an acceptable level; and recommending pest risk mitigation measures or strategies.

“Pest risk management” means selection of pest risk mitigation measures, codification (enactment as law) of selected pest risk measures or strategies; enforcement of legal requirements; reevaluation; and revision or cancellation of requirements.

“Phytosanitary certificate” (See “Certificate”)

“Phytosanitary measures” means any growing season or post-harvest treatment or any other method (tactic) or strategy (combination of methods or tactics) specified in a quarantine to reduce pest risk to an acceptable level.

“Plant” includes any part of a plant, tree, plant product, shrub, vine, fruit, vegetable, seed, bulb, solon, tuber, corm, pip, cutting, scion, bud, graft, or fruit pit.

“Registration” means the official recording of a growing location, person, plant, sales location or any other thing or place as one that has met specified requirements and therefore eligible for a particular activity, operation or purpose.

“Regulated article” means any thing the movement of which is governed by a quarantine or any other law.

“Quarantine” means a legal instrument duly imposed or enacted by a governmental agency as a means for mitigating pest risk.

“Quarantine pest” means an economically important pest that does not occur in an endangered area, or which is being officially controlled in an endangered area, and for which economic impact cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by means or methods other than phytosanitary measures.

“Sales location” means every location from which nursery stock is delivered direct to a customer.

“Sell” includes offer for sale, expose for sale, possess for sale, exchange, barter, or trade.

“Shipment” means any article or thing which is, may be, or has been transported from one place to another.

“Significant damage or harm” means that level of adverse impact that results in economic damage, injury of loss that exceeds the cost of control for a particular crop.

“Surveillance” means combined and ongoing acts of monitoring, collecting, confirming, documenting, and reporting pest data generated via private and public activities for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a valid and reliable (accurate and current) pest distribution database for any particular area.

“Survey” means the systematic search for pests in accordance with mutually agreed upon methods designed to assure confidence in their meaning and accuracy for pest prevention purposes such as control, suppression, eradication, verification of pest free areas, identification of possible harm, evaluation of probability of harm,

and taking appropriate actions to prevent predicted significant harm. Surveys may be performed for the purposes of detection, delimitation, or verification.

“Valid detection survey” means an official systematic search for a target pest that is performed using methods mutually acceptable between trading partners. (See “Detection survey” and “Survey”)

“Verification survey” means a systematic, ongoing search to assure target pest freedom, determine the need for treatment, or determine the success of treatment. (This kind of survey is sometimes called a monitoring survey.)


Anyone interested in the NAPPO terminology may contact Mr. Bruce E. Hopper, Executive Director, North American Plant Protection Organization, c/o Plant Protection Division, Agriculture Canada, 59 Camelot Drive, Nepean, Ontario, K1A OY9 Canada, Telephone (613) 952-8000.