SANITARY & PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES: THEMATIC SESSION

Thematic SPS workshop on pesticide maximum residue levels

The Secretariat organized a special SPS thematic workshop which focused on pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs). This workshop took place on Monday, 24 October and Tuesday, 25 October 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The SPS informal and regular meetings were held on 26-28 October 2016.

The objective of the workshop was to bring together officials responsible for participation in and implementation of the SPS Agreement, as well as the relevant international standard-setting organization and scientific bodies for an in depth discussion, at a technical level, on maximum residue levels. More specifically:

    a. Participants reviewed the SPS Agreement and MRLs, including the relevant provisions of the Agreement and jurisprudence;

    b. Participants reviewed the Codex approach to establishing MRLs. This included relevant information on the respective work of Codex and scientific bodies, such as the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residue (JMPR);

    c. Participants were exposed to the relevant international, regional and bilateral work being undertaken on pesticide residues; and

    d. Participants discussed their experiences in complying with MRLs and establishing MRLs, including information on their domestic regulatory and legal infrastructures.

 

Programme (in PDF format)

Day 1 — Monday, 24 October 2016

10:00 — 10:30 : Workshop Overview and Objectives

This session will provide an overview of the workshop and its objectives.

    Speaker: Ms Marcela Otero,Chair of the SPS Committee

 

10:30 — 11:00 : Session 1: The SPS Agreement and Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

The Secretariat will provide a background presentation on the relevant provisions of the SPS Agreement and summarize the relevant WTO jurisprudence related to maximum residue levels.

 

11:00 — 13:00 : Session 2: Codex Approach to Establishing Pesticide MRLs

Part 1
Introduction to the Codex approach to establishing pesticide MRLs. This will include relevant information on the respective work of Codex and other scientific bodies such as the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).

Part 2
Q&A session with the experts to answer questions specific to the Codex approach.

Moderator: Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director, Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses, WHO

Speakers:

  • Mr Ian Reichstein, Director, National Residue Survey, Residues & Food, Exports Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australia and Chair of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) Working Group on Priorities
    Establishment of Codex MRLs — Prioritisation criteria, scheduling, evaluation and proposals
    Presentation

  • Dr Juerg Zarn, WHO JMPR Expert, Head of Scientific Evaluation Sector, Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), Switzerland
    The scientific basis of international food safety standards
    Presentation

  • Dr Yong Zhen Yang, FAO JMPR Secretary
    Overview of the JMPR estimation of MRLs for pesticide residues
    Presentation

  • Ms Gracia Brisco, Food Standards Officer, Codex Secretariat
    Codex procedures for the establishment of pesticide MRLs
    Presentation

 

15:00 — 16:15 : Session 3: Relevant Bilateral, Regional and International Work on Pesticide Residues

In this session, relevant bilateral, regional or international work will be presented in the area of maximum residue levels for pesticides.

Moderator: Dr Robert Ahern, Head of the IICA Agricultural Health and Food Safety Programme

Part 1: Regional Initiatives on MRLs - Ongoing work in OECD, APEC and EAC
This session will provide an update on regional MRL work undertaken by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East African Community (EAC). In particular, speakers will focus on: OECD guidance on residue definitions, testing and the harmonization work programme; APEC Import MRL guideline for pesticides; and MRL harmonization work in the East African Community (EAC).

Speakers:

  • Ms Donna Davis, Office of Pesticide Programs, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    US EPA perspectives on harmonization of international MRLs — OECD and APEC collaborative work projects
    Presentation

  • Mr Steve J. Crossley, Manager, Scientific Strategy, International and Surveillance, Food Standards Australia New Zealand — Australia(presentation delivered by Dr Trevor Webb)
    APEC import MRL guideline for pesticides — Enhancing trade, regulatory convergence and consumer protection
    Presentation

  • Mr Michael Odong, Assistant Commissioner, Head Agricultural Chemical Regulatory Division, Department of Crop Inspection and Certification, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda (presentation delivered by Mr Geoffrey Onen)
    Regional initiative to harmonize pesticide MRLs in order to facilitate regional and international trade in products of plant origin: EAC perspective
    Presentation

 

16:15 — 17:45 : Session 3: Relevant Bilateral, Regional and International Work on Pesticide Residues (cont’d)

Moderator: Mr Melvin Spreij, Secretary of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

Part 2: Establishing MRLs for Minor-Use Crops
In this session, speakers will address issues related to establishing MRLs for minor-use crops (i.e. crops of low pesticide usage on a global scale). In particular, focus will be placed on the ongoing work being carried out through projects (supported by the STDF, USDA, IDB, JMPR and/or others) in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America, including the experiences in identifying MRL needs for developing country exports.

Speakers:  

  • Mr Dan Kunkel, Associate Director, Food and International Programs, IR-4 Project Headquarters, Rutgers State University of New Jersey
    The experience of IR4 in addressing grower needs, and fostering international cooperation in support of international harmonization
    Presentation

  • Mr Jason Sandahl, Senior Program Manager, Trade and Scientific Capacity Building Division, Office of Capacity Building and Development, US Department of Agriculture
    Collaborative approach in addressing global MRL needs for minor-use crops
    Presentation

  • Mr John A. Pwamang, Deputy Executive Director, Operations, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana
    Strengthening capacity for pesticides residue data generation
  • Ms Ana Carolina Lamy, Federal Inspector, Secretariat of Agribusiness International Relations, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, Brazil
    Update on the Brazilian legislation for setting MRLs for minor-use crops
    Presentation

 

Day 2 — Tuesday, 25 October 2016

10:00 — 10:15 : Opening Remarks

10:15 — 12:15 : Session 4: Domestic Frameworks and Approaches for Establishing MRLs and Import Tolerances

Moderator: Mr Ian Reichstein, Director, National Residue Survey, Residues & Food, Exports Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australia and Chair of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) Working Group on Priorities

Part 1: Domestic Policy, Regulatory and Legal Infrastructures for Establishing MRLs
In this session, speakers will explain their domestic regulatory and legal infrastructures for establishing MRLs.

Speakers:

  • Mr Volker Wachtler, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
    The EU policy for setting pesticide MRLs
    Presentation

  • Mr Takuya Kondo, Assistant Director, Standard and Evaluation Division, Department of Environmental Health and Food Safety, Pharmaceutical Safety and Environmental Health
    Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Japan
    Overview of pesticide MRLs in Japan
    Presentation

Part 2: Domestic Frameworks for Risk Assessment and Risk Management
Through the use of case studies, speakers in this session will provide insights into their domestic frameworks for establishing MRLs and import tolerances. In particular, speakers will highlight their approaches to risk assessment and risk management where no international standard exists or where an existing international standard is not used. This session will also explore concerns related to specific commodity and pesticide combinations.

Speakers:

  • Dr Peter Chan, Director General, Health Evaluation Directorate, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada
    Canadian regulatory approach for establishing MRLs
    Presentation

  • Mr Celestino Tavares, Plant Protection Sector, General Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, Cabo Verde

 

12:15 — 13:00 : Session 5: Experiences in Implementing and Complying with Codex MRLs

This session will explore Members’ experiences in implementing existing Codex MRLs from an importer’s perspective. In addition, the session will provide additional insights into the difficulties and challenges faced in complying with MRLs from an exporter’s perspective. Experiences will also be shared in relation to the application of measures for compounds that cannot be detected in final products.

Moderator: Mrs Awilo Ochieng Pernet, Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission

Speakers:

  • Dr Olga Egorova, Senior Researcher, F.F. Erisman Federal Scientific Centre of Hygiene, Rospotrebnadzor
    Harmonization of Russian pesticide MRLs with Codex standards
    Presentation

  • Mr Raúl Peralta Girón, Director, Agrifood Safety Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Dominican Republic
    The impact of implementation of Codex MRLs on export of fruits and fresh vegetables
    Presentation

 

15:00 — 16:15 : Session 6: Panel Discussion on the Role of the Private Sector in the Establishment and Implementation of MRLs

Through the use of specific examples, speakers in this session will explore the various ways in which the private sector can be involved in the establishment of MRLs and their experiences in the implementation of MRLs. In particular, this session will highlight the role of the private sector in providing support for the scientific review process through data sharing, expert consultation and contribution of financial resources to support the review process. This session will be followed by a question and answer period.

Moderator: Ms Melanie Bateman, Integrated Crop Management Advisor, Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI)

Panel speakers:

  • Mr Gord Kurbis, Director of Market Access and Trade Policy, Pulse Canada and Chairman of the Codex Working Group for the Global Pulse Confederation
    Summary of intervention
  • Ms Morag Webb, Policy Adviser, Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP)
    Summary of intervention

 

16:15 – 17:30 : Session 7: Impact of MRLs on International Trade
Moderator:Ms Martha Byanyima, SPS and Agribusiness Expert, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Part 1:Impact of Compliance with Default MRLs on International Trade
This session will explore the impact of the use of default MRLs on international trade, including those set at the limits of detection. Through the use of case studies, speakers will explain their experiences with addressing the use of default MRLs by trading partners and the subsequent impact on agricultural exports. This session will be followed by a question and answer period.

Speakers:

  • Ms Rebeka Tekle, Acting Deputy Director, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada
    Managing the impacts of differing MRLs on trade in agriculture: A Canadian perspective
    Presentation
  • Ms Lucy Namu, Senior Principal Analytical Chemist, Head Quality Assurance and Laboratory Accreditation, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service
    Trade impact of default maximum residue limits (MRLs) - The case of Kenya
    Presentation

Part 2 : Impact of MRL Expiration on Agricultural Trade
A speaker will highlight the potential impacts of MRL expiration on agricultural trade and the possible approaches to address concerns that may be posed by older products while maintaining safe trade.

Speaker: Mr Daniel Mazzarella, Specialized Technical Adviser, Directorate of Agrochemicals and Biologicals, National Directorate of Agrochemicals, Veterinary and Food Products, National Agrifood Safety and Quality Service (SENASA)
Presentation

 

17:30 — 18:00 : Session 8: Conclusions

Speakers will identify a few key conclusions from sessions 1 to 7. This session will also include a question and answer period.

Moderator: Ms Marcela Otero, Chair of the SPS Committee

Speakers:

  • Developing country perspective — Ms Lucy Namu, Senior Principal Analytical Chemist Head Quality Assurance and Laboratory Accreditation, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service
  • Developed country perspective — Dr Peter Chan, Director General, Health Evaluation Directorate, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada