Specialized Section on Standardization of


Seed Potatoes


26 to 28 March 2003, Geneva

PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE THIRTY-THIRD SESSION

to be held in the Palais des Nations, Geneva,

commencing at 10.00 hrs on Monday, 26th March 2003


NOTE by the secretariat: Document numbers in square brackets have been reserved for papers not received by the secretariat at the time of the preparation of the agenda. They will either be distributed before the meeting in the original language only (if received until 6 weeks before the session) or at the session as informal papers (if received later). They will also be available on the homepage if sent in electronic format.


1.


Adoption of the agenda


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/1


English, French, Russian


2.


Matters of interest since the thirty-second session


From


-           Working Party on Agricultural Quality             Standards


-           Committee for trade, Industry and             Enterprise Development


-           European Union


-           OECD


-           WTO


-           NAPPO, EPPO

TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2


English, French, Russian


3.


Information on the results of the meetings of the bureau


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2


English, French, Russian


4.

>Review of the UNECE Standard for Seed Potatoes
TRADE/WP.7/2002/9/Add.16 (Text of the standard in force)


English, French, Russian


(a)


Proposal for a new introduction to the UNECE Standard for Seed Potatoes

TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/3


English, French, Russian


(b)

Annex I: List of pests to be checked on Nuclear (Initial)Stock
TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/4


English, French, Russian


(c)

Annex II: Minimum conditions to be satisfied by the crop in respect to viruses and varietal purity


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/5


English, French, Russian


(d)

Annex VIII: Assessment Key for percentage tuber surface area coverage of blemish diseases (e.g., Common scab, black scurf and powdery scab)


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/6


English, French, Russian


(e)

New Annex IX: Summary Table of Tolerances


(f)

Development of the concept of variety in the Standard


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/8


English, French, Russian


5.


Minimum conditions to be satisfied by the production and maintenance of Nuclear (Initial) Stock.

6.

Destination tolerances

7.


Recommended best handling practices

8.


The impact of GMO’s on the Standard

TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/7


English, French, Russian


9.


Superficial necrosis caused by virus

10.


Standardization of test methods

11

List of pests and diseases
TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/9


English, French, Russian


12.


Results of Overview of National schemes for seed potato certification (questionnaire)

13.


Concerns of seed buyers
TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2002/12

English,

TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2001/INF.2


English


14.


Discussion on areas of certification scheme


which may benefit from further standardization.

15.


Next meetings and future work

16.


Preparation of the 59th session of the Working Party  on Standardization of Perishable Produce and Quality Development

17.


Other business

18.


Election of officers

19.


Adoption of the report
TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/10


English, French, Russian

Proposed timetable


26


March


10.00 - 13.00


Items 1-4


15.00 - 18.00


Items 4


27


March


10.00 - 13.00


Items 5 -9


15.00 – 18.00


Items 10 - 13


28


March


10.00 - 13.00


Items 13 - 18


15.00 – 18.00


Item 19

ANNOTATIONS


Item 1:                        Adoption of the agenda


Document for this session:         TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/1


According to the Commission's Rules of Procedure, the first item on the provisional agenda is the adoption of the agenda.


Item 2:                        Matters of interest arising since the thirty-second session


Document for this session:         TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2


Document TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2 sums up the relevant outcome of the sixth session of the Committee for Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development and the fifty-eighth session of the Working Party on Standardization of Perishable Produce and Quality Development.


Delegations will also be informed of relevant matters arising from the work of the European Union, OECD Seed Scheme, WTO, NAPPO and EPPO.


Item 3:                        Information on the results of the meetings of the bureau


Document for this session:         TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2


Document TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/2 contains a summary of the extended bureau meeting held in Canada (30 September to 4 October 2002).

Item 4:                        Review of the UN/ECE Standard for Seed Potatoes


Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/2002/9/Add.16 (Text of the standard in force)

(a)        Proposal for a new introduction to the UNECE Standard for Seed Potatoes


Document for this session          TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/3 (Secretariat)


The document contains a proposal for a new introduction to the UNECE Standard for Seed Potatoes which has been discussed at several bureau meetings. It explains the goals and purpose of the standard and what it means to apply it as well as its relation to texts of other organizations.


(b)        Annex I: List of pests to be checked on Nuclear (Initial) Stock


Document for this session:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/4


The proposal contains a definition for Initial Stock as well as a list of pests to be checked on it.

(c)        Annex II: Minimum conditions to be satisfied by the crop in respect to viruses and varietal purity


Document for this session:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/5


The proposal contained in 2003/5 was originally submitted by Portugal and amended by the bureau meeting in Canada.

(d)        Annex VIII: Assessment Key for percentage tuber surface area coverage of blemish diseases (e.g., Common scab, black scurf and powdery scab)


Document for this session:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/6


The delegation of France drafted a proposal to include images of reference tubers for rhizoctonia, common and powdery scab. Delegations are also invited to discuss how to further improve the annex and if it would be interesting to have an explanatory brochure for Seed Potatoes.


(e)        New Annex IX: Summary Table of Tolerances


The delegation of Canada offered to prepare a table summarizing the tolerances in the different annexes of the standard with the goal to facilitating its use. It is also proposed to add an index to the standard.


(f)        Development of the concept of variety in the Standard


Document for this session:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/8

The delegation of Switzerland has prepared a paper on how to develop the concept of variety in the standard, looking at the present requirements included, explaining the need for development and proposing amendments to the standard.

Item 5:            Minimum conditions to be satisfied by the production and maintenance of Nuclear (Initial) Stock.


The extended bureau meeting proposes holding a discussion on minimum conditions to be satisfied by the production and maintenance of Nuclear (Initial) Stock.


Item 6:                        Destination tolerances


The extended bureau meeting proposes holding a discussion on the applicability of destination tuber tolerances.


Item 7:                        Recommended best handling practices


The extended bureau meeting proposes holding a discussion on recommended best tuber handling practices for shipper/receiver.


Item 8:                        The impact of GMO’s on the Standard


Document for this session:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/7

At the last session the delegation of Canada distributed an information paper on methods and approaches to enhance varietal integrity within seed potato certification systems. The paper is being distributed at this session as an official document. Further information is expected from Russia on the situation in their country and the European Community on the relevant Council decision and the report of the Standing Committee establishing a threshold.


The working group (Canada, the Russian Federation and the European Community) is continuing to look at the following issues related to GMOs:


            -           identity of the variety


            -           the impact of GMOs on the standard


            -           the possibility to label the variety


            -           to check whether the present system is still valid to assess varietal identity and purity.


Item 9:                        Superficial necrosis caused by virus

The delegations of France and the United Kingdom will inform about the status of a proposal concerning superficial necrosis caused by virus (e.g. rattle).


Item 10           :           Standardization of test methods

At recent sessions it had been suggested to have as a possible new area of work the standardization of methods for detection of viruses and pests. It was said that the UNECE standard could not cover everything concerning testing but could assist in the choice of the appropriate method. The replies to the questionnaire should serve as a starting point for this question as they give an indication about methods used in different countries. No proposal was finalized for this session.

Item 11           :           List of pests and diseases

Document:        TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2003/9

The document contains the updated list of pests and diseases from France that was completed with a column on possible test methods existing for the pests contained in the UNECE standard.


Item 12:          Results of overview of national schemes for seed potato certification (questionnaire)


Delegations will be informed on the status of this publication.


Item 13           :           Concerns of seed buyers

TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2002/12


TRADE/WP.7/GE.6/2001/INF.2


The Specialized Section will continue the discussion on concerns of seed buyers.

Item 14:          Discussion on areas of certification scheme which may benefit from further standardization.


Any additional proposals are welcome under this agenda item.


Item 15:                      Next meetings and future work

Delegations are invited to make proposals concerning the future work and meeting schedule of the Specialized Section and the extended bureau.

Item 16:          Preparation of the 59th session of the Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards


The Specialized Section is invited to decide which decisions /information should be transmitted to the annual session of the Working Party


Item 17           :           Other business


Any other area of interest can be discussed under this agenda item.


Item 18           :           Election of officers    

According to the Commission's Rules of Procedure and established practice, the Specialized Section is expected to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman. At its thirty-first session the group elected Mr. P.G. Bianchi (Italy) as its Chairman and Mr. P.  Miauton (Switzerland) as its Vice-Chairman.


Item 19           :           Adoption of the report          


The Specialized Section will adopt the report of its thirty-second session on the basis of a draft prepared by the secretariat.


NOTE BY THE SECRETARIAT:


Contributions should be sent to the secretariat either on diskette by mail to :


           


            Food Standards Officer


            UN/ECE Trade Division


            Palais des Nations

      Office 432


            1211 Geneva 10


            Tel:  (41) 22 917 2450     Fax:  (41) 22 917 0041


or by e-mail to:


            agristandards@unece.org


Meeting documentation will be available on our homepage:


            http://www.unece.org/trade/agr/welcome.htm