APHIS Will Adjust Risk-Based Sampling Procedures at Plant Inspection Stations on September 30, 2018

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On September 30, 2018, APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) officials will adjust its inspection procedures and start selecting samples from incoming shipments of live plants based on pest risk. Since 2016, PPQ has been collecting pest interception data on incoming shipments to determine the pest risks associated with country of origin and the type of propagative materials, such as rooted plants, plant cuttings or tissue cultures. Using this data, PPQ will adjust sampling rates at its Plant Inspection Stations to better protect the United States against the introduction and spread of damaging plant pests and diseases.


Importers may notice changes in the number of samples selected for inspection at Plant Inspection Stations. For example, PPQ officers may pull fewer samples when inspecting commodities from countries that consistently have few or no pest problems. When inspecting commodities from countries that have more frequent pest problems, officers may pull more samples. When PPQ does not have sufficient risk data about a plant commodity, PPQ officers will sample at the highest rate until they collect enough data to make a statistically sound decision about its risk level. 


Risk-based sampling is a statistically sound practice that focuses inspection activities according to level of risk. PPQ will analyze its risk data quarterly and adjust sample rates as needed.


For more information, please visit the APHIS website.