COPE Course Unit

2.1 Course Objectives


  1. To create awareness on Phytosanitary import regulatory systems.
  2. To enhance knowledge and skills on phytosanitary import inspections.
  3. To enhance knowledge and skills in the management of quarantine facilities and handling of materials
  4. To enhance knowledge and skills on management of containment facilities for GMOs and other imported regulated materials such as biological control agents, soils, pathogens, diseased plants
  5. To create awareness and enhance knowledge on seed importation regulatory system

2.2 Course Outline


  1. Introduction to import regulatory system
  2. Phytosanitary import regulatory systems
  3. Phytosanitary import inspections
  4. Quarantine facilities and handling of materials
  5. Seed importation regulatory system

2.3 Course Content


1.1.1 Introduction to import regulatory system (2 Hours)
  1. Definitions, guiding principles in import regulatory system,
  2. Inspection standards such as ISO 17020 and other relevant ISPMs (2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 13, 20, 21, 23, 25, 34, 40 and 41),
  3. Importance of import regulation (for sustainable food security, trade and environmental safety),
  4. National, regional and international legislation and agreements, for example, EAC, ECOWAS, COMESA green pass.
1.1.2 Phytosanitary import regulatory systems (5 Hours)
  1. Import regulatory framework: legislation, regulations, procedures, legal framework; commodity compliance, prohibitions, seed import legislation and regulations  
  2. Official controls: NPPOs responsibilities, role of other government agencies, PRA; requirements - permitted articles, regulated articles, prohibited articles.
  3. Surveillance, inspection, Pest list, emergency action and others,
  4. Consignments on transit,
  5. Resources, documentation and communication, Non-compliance and notification. Technical expert committee, GMO regulation,.
1.1.3 Phytosanitary import inspections (5 Hours)
  1. Inspection procedures: standard operating procedures (SOP) and manuals, software, inspection tool kit, sampling procedures, laboratory/visual examination, personal safety, traceability.
  2. Verification of import documents, examination for pests and other phytosanitary requirements: verification of documentation, consignment identity and integrity.
  3. Inspection of conveyances/carriers (cargo holds, cruise ships, airplanes, trucks; containers, wood packaging), regulated pests, diagnostic support and laboratory testing.
  4. Inspection outcome (compliance, non-compliance): issuance of import permit.
  5. : Technical expert committees, national authorities regulating GMOs, convention on trade on endangered species (CITES)
  6. Decision and reporting: detention, emergency action, sorting and reconfiguring, destruction, re-shipment;  reporting for non-compliance, consignment in transit (re-exports);
1.1.4 Quarantine facilities and handling of materials (2 hours)
  1. Requirement for quarantine facilities: regulations for import of materials under quarantine, GMOs and biological control organisms  Requirements for setting up quarantine facility
  2. Handling of materials under quarantine: handling of GMO,  biological control agents (Biosafety level 1, 2, 3, 4)
  3. Handling of other regulated articles such as soils, pathogens, diseased plants
1.2 Practicals (10 Hours)
  1. Preparation Plant Import Permit (PIP); consignment inspection; field inspection; demonstration on Phytosanitary certification including the use of electronic import certification system.
  2. Field visit to quarantine facilities and demonstration of handling quarantine materials, GMO biosafety levels
1.3 Case studies (5 Hours)

Country specific risk management initiative e.g. grains, fruits, vegetables, plants for planting, seed, seed potato, risk assessment for biological control under KSTCIE, specific crop and how it is handled-tea



  1. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  2. ISPM 03: 2005 Guidelines for the export, shipment, import and release of biological control agents and other beneficial organisms
  3. ISPM 05: Glossary of Phytosanitary terms
  4. ISPM 07: 2011 Phytosanitary certification system
  5. ISPM 12: 2011 Phytosanitary certificates
  6. ISPM 13: 2001 Guidelines for the notification of non-compliance and emergency action
  7. ISPM 15: 2009 Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade
  8. ISPM 20: 2004 Guidelines for a Phytosanitary import regulatory system
  9. ISPM 23: 2005 Guidelines for inspection
  10. ISPM 28: 2007 Phytosanitary treatments for regulated pests
  11. ISPM 24: 2005 Guidelines for the determination and recognition of equivalence of Phytosanitary measures
  12. ISPM 25: 2006 Consignments in transit
  13. ISPM 31: 2008 Methodologies for sampling of consignments
  14. ISPM 32: 2009 Categorization of commodities according to their pest risk
  15. ISPM 34: 2010 Design and operation of post-entry quarantine stations for plants
  16. ISPM 40: International movement of growing media in association with plants for planting
  17. ISPM 41: International movement of used vehicles, machinery and equipment
  18. United Nations economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).UNECE Commercial Quality Standards for Agricultural Produce.
  19. USDA-APHIS Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System.
  20. Directive EC/29/2000. EU website:
  21. Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) website:
  22. USDA-APHIS Cut flowers and greenery Import manual.
  23. USDA-APHIS Cut flowers and greenery Import manual.
  24. KEPHIS 2018. Plant Importation order book (PIOB)
  25. Minimum sanitation protocol for importation of Geranium to USA – APHIS website:
  26. ISO 17020 Inspection systems and 17065