Biocontrol News and Information includes review articles written by experts in the field of biological control. The abstracts of these review articles are available to PEST CABWeb® subscribers as html files, readable by any browser. The complete articles (including graphics, tables etc) are provided as PDF files. In order to view these files you will need to install the Adobe Acrobat viewer. This can be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Web Site at :

Get Adobe Logo

BNI March 2003 Vol 24. No. 1: Review

M.T.K. Kairo, M.J.W. Cock and M.M.Quinlan

An assessment of the use of the Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Exotic Biological Control Agents (ISPM No. 3) since its endorsement as an international standard. BNI 24 (1)


The Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of Exotic Biological Control Agents was endorsed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) members in 1995 and became the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 3 under the International Plant Protection Convention in 1996. ISPM No. 3 seeks to provide procedures for the safe import and release of biological control agents, including biopesticides, although it focused heavily on classical biological control programmes. This review critically assesses the use of ISPM No. 3 since it became an international standard for making decisions about biological control agents. Development of ISPMNo. 3 was timely and appropriate. Either ISPM No. 3 or similar national procedures were applied in most cases to support decisions regarding import and release of exotic biological control agents since 1996. It has provided a mechanism for formalizing current good practice and provided internationally accepted standards to countries with little experience in implementing biological control. It provides a good basis for facilitation of regional projects. Countries noted some limitations in implementation of ISPM No. 3, however, including lack of technical capacity and, in some cases, appropriate quarantine facilities. Provision of technical guidelines and support with training to countries would be desirable. Case studies for decisions by Kenya, Colombia, the Caribbean, Yemen, Samoa and Brazil give further insights into the use of ISPM No. 3 over its first seven years.