National Plant Board

Plant Quarantine, Nursery Inspection, and Certification Guidelines

Appendix E

Risk Characterization

(Determining the probability of harm and the relative economic importance of quarantine pests*)

When a pest is identified as being a quarantine pest as a result of a risk analysis performed using the National Plant Board (NPB) Plant Quarantine and Nursery Inspection Guidelines, there is a need to further characterize the potential total harm and economic impact. The reason is that one of the NPB “Principles of Plant Quarantine” is that quarantine (risk mitigation) measures adopted should represent the least drastic action in terms of interference with the movement of people, goods, and vehicles.

This appendix contains the criteria that may be used to characterize the probability and magnitude of quarantine pest impact into three levels: Low, Medium, and High.

I. LOW IMPACT

A. Introduction Potential

1. Pest is not carried at a significant level on regulated commodities; i.e. not more than one-tenth of one percent of shipments are likely to be infested and those shipments that are infested are likely to contain no more than a few specimens of a pest not capable of reproduction as individuals.

2. Public demand for potentially affected commodities is low.

3. Number of pathways for artificial spread into the area of concern are few and well controlled.

4. There are effective commodity treatments (growing season or post-harvest).

5. Pest is easily detected at ports of entry.

B. Establishment Potential

1. Ease of establishment/colonization is low due to climatic limitations or lack of a suitable host continuum in the area of concern.

2. Pest is not carried from one season to the next on the regulated material.

3. Pest does not persist in the field from one crop to the next in the absence of another host.

4. Crop must be planted annually.

* In the endangered area

C. Pest Control Impacts

1. Existing crop protection strategies would provide adequate control in agriculture, home gardens and landscapes.

2. Control efforts would not disrupt existing pest management programs.

D. Quarantine Impacts

1. The pest already exists in important export market areas.

2. Countries where the pest does not exist would not impose quarantine restrictions that could not be satisfied without significant cost and market disruption.

E. Environmental Impacts

1. There would be little or no adverse impact on forests, ecosystems, ecological habitats, or watersheds.

2. There would be no significant increase in the use of pesticides.

II. MEDIUM IMPACT

A. Introduction Potential

1. Pest is carried at a significant level on regulated commodities; i.e. more than one-tenth of one percent of shipments are likely to be infested and those shipments that are infested are likely to be infested at a level that would reasonably be expected to allow for reproduction.

2. Public demand and trade in potentially affected commodities is significant.

3. There are several pathways for artificial spread into the area of concern and closing them would be difficult and expensive.

4. There are effective commodity treatments (growing season and post-harvest).

5. Pest is not easily detected at ports of entry.

B. Establishment Potential

1. Climatic conditions and host availability would allow establishment/colonization with some difficulty.

2. Pest could carry over from one season to the next.

3. Pest could persist in the field from one season to the next.

4. Perennial crops or important annual crops would be attacked.

C. Pest Control Impacts

1. Additional crop protection measures would be required to prevent economic damage to agricultural crops, garden produce, or landscaping.

2. Crop protection methods are available and feasible.

3. Additional control efforts would have only minor adverse impacts on existing pest management programs.

D. Quarantine Impacts

1. The pest does not exist in important export market areas.

2. Countries where the pest does not exist would impose phytosanitary restrictions.

3. Phytosanitary requirements could be met without major market impacts and costs.

E. Environmental Impacts

There would be little or no adverse environmental effects (See I. E. for detail).

III. HIGH IMPACT

A. Introduction Potential

1. Pest is carried at significant levels on regulated commodities.

2. Public demand and trade in affected commodities is high.

3. There are many pathways for artificial spread into the area of concern. Smuggling and hitchhiking on non-host commodities and carriers are likely.

4. Commodity treatments are few, costly and of limited effectiveness.

5. Pest is not easily detected at ports of entry.

B. Establishment Potential

1. Climatic and host availability would make establish-ment/colonization likely. Colonization could result from the introduction, escape, and survival of an individual.

2. Pest could easily carry over from one season to the next.

3. Pest could persist in the field from one season to the next in the absence of a host or due to a succession of hosts.

4. Perennial crops would be attacked.

5. Detection would be difficult.

C. Pest Control Impacts

1. Additional, costly crop protection measures would be required to prevent economic damage in agriculture, home gardens, and landscapes.

2. There are few effective crop protection methods available and their use would create environmental, food safety, or public health consequences.

3. Additional control efforts would greatly disrupt existing pest management practices.

4. Eradication would be a long-term effort, difficult, and costly.

D. Quarantine Impacts

1. Pest does not exist in important export market areas.

2. Countries where the pest does not exist would impose prohibitions or severe phytosanitary restrictions on affected commodities.

3. Markets could be lost or phytosanitary requirements could not be met without major market impacts and costs.

E. Environmental Impacts

There would be significant adverse environmental impacts (See I. E. for detail).