Guidelines for Categorization of Commodities of Plant Origin ( DA Quarantine Administrative Circular No. 01-14 )

November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014


SUBJECT : Guidelines for Categorization of Commodities of Plant Origin


Pursuant to provisions of Chapter IV, Title IV, Book IV of Executive Order No. 292, PD No. 1433, as amended; other pertinent laws, rules and regulations and relevant international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory, this circular governing the appropriate categorization of commodities of plant origin is hereby promulgated.


General Provisions

SECTION 1. Objective. — This Circular aims to rationalize the regulation of commodities of plant origin in relation to the requirements for Phytosanitary Certificate, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance and employment of necessary treatment.

SECTION 2. Definition of Terms.

1. BPI SPS Import Clearance (SPSIC) — a document issued prior to importation by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to ensure that the products being imported meet standards to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals or plants. Such document also prescribes the conditions to be complied with by the importer for the maintenance of quality and suitability of the product for the intended purposes.

2. Categorization — The process in which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. Categorization implies that objects are grouped into categories usually for some specific purpose.

3. Commodity — A type of plant, planting material, plant product, or other article of plant origin being moved for trade and other purposes.

4. Consignment — A quantity of plants, plant products or other articles being moved from one country to another and covered by a single phytosanitary certificate (a consignment may be composed of one or more commodities or lots (FAO, 1990, Revised ICPM, 2001). HCEcaT

5. Importation — act of bringing into the country by sea, land or air, products from other countries intended for planting, consumption, manufacturing, trading, distribution, domestication, formulation, repacking or by any other purposes.

6. Importer — shall refer to any person, individual or juridical entity, as well as any farmers' cooperatives/organization/association, or proprietor or authorized representatives or broker, partner, in case of partnership, who transacts with the BPI for purposes of registration and issuance of SPSIC in connection with importation of plants and plant products.

7. Intended use — Declared purpose for which plants, plant products, or other regulated articles are imported, produced, or used (ISPM no. 16, 2002).

8. Lot — A number of units of a single commodity, identifiable by its homogeneity of composition, origin etc.,forming part of a consignment (FAO, 1990).

9. Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) — The process of evaluating biological or other scientific and economic evidence to determine whether a pest should be regulated and the strength of any phytosanitary measures to be taken against it. (FAO, 1995; Revised IPPC, 1997)

10. Phytosanitary Certificate — An official paper document or its official electronic equivalent, consistent with the model certificates of IPPC, attesting that a consignment meets phytosanitary import requirements (FAO, 1990; revised CPM, 2012).

11. Phytosanitary Certification — Use of phytosanitary procedures leading to the issue of a phytosanitary certificate (FAO, 1990).

12. Phytosanitary Import Requirements — Specific phytosanitary measures established by an importing country concerning consignments moving into that country (ICPM, 2005).

13. Phytosanitary Measures — any legislation, regulation or official procedure having the purpose to prevent the introduction and/or spread of quarantine pest, or to limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pest (FAO, 1995; revised IPPC, 1997; ICPM 2002).

14. Plant Products — products derived from plants either in their natural or processed form.

15. Planting Materials — refer to seeds, fruits and parts of aggregate fruits used for planting. These also include cuttings, rhizomes, bulbs and corms, grafts, leaves, roots, scions and others that are capable of propagation.

16. Plants — refers to living plants.

17. Quarantine pest — A pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled.


Rationale and Non-Coverage

SECTION 3. Rationale. — This circular shall provide basis for the Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Service (BPI PQS) in categorizing commodities according to their pest risk when establishing phytosanitary import requirements. This categorization shall be used in identifying whether Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) is necessary prior to importation and if phytosanitary certification is required from the country of origin.

SECTION 4. Non-Coverage. — Products properly packed and labeled for commercial purposes including those with Certification of Product Registration from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not covered by this Circular. Contaminating pests or storage pests that may become associated with the commodity after processing are also not covered in this Circular. HSCATc


Categorization of Commodities

SECTION 5. Categorization of Commodities. — This Circular adopts the categorization of commodities according to level of pest risk pursuant to International Standards for Phytosanitary Measure (ISPM) No. 32 issued by International Plant Protection Convention, as follows:

1. Category 1 — Commodities that have been processed to the point where they do not remain capable of being infested with quarantine pests and therefore, should not be regulated. The importation of Category 1 commodities shall not require an SPSIC, but the importer shall secure a Certificate of Non-Coverage and/or Plant Quarantine Service Certification from BPI.

2. Category 2 — Commodities that have been processed to the point where the commodity remains capable of being infested with some quarantine pests and whose intended use may be for consumption or further processing. The BPI-PQS shall determine if a PRA is required for quarantine pests that may not be eliminated by the process. Importation of Category 2 commodities shall require SPSIC and Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) from the country of origin.

3. Category 3 — Commodities that have not been processed and the intended use of commodity is for consumption or processing. PRA is necessary to identify the pest risks related to this pathway. This category requires SPSIC and PC.

4. Category 4 — This includes commodities that have not been processed and the intended use is for planting. PRA is necessary to identify the pest risks related to this pathway. This category requires SPSIC to be secured from the BPI and PC from the country of origin.


Schedule of Fees

SECTION 5. *  Schedule of Fees and Charges. — The prevailing regulatory fees collected by the BPI for imported commodities pursuant to DA Administrative Order Nos. 12 and 26, s. of 2004 and BPI Plant Quarantine Circular No. 1, s. of 2014 shall apply to this Circular until their revocation, amendment or repeal.



SECTION 6. Annexes. — The methods of commercial processing with resultant commodities that do not remain capable and remain capable of being infested with quarantine pests including examples of categories 3 and 4 shall form as prescriptive parts of this Circular.



SECTION 7. Non-Exclusivity. — All existing rules and regulations, policies, procedures and standards consistent with this Circular shall continue to be in force and effect.


Repealing Clause

SECTION 8. Repealing Clause. — All existing Orders and Issuances inconsistent herewith are hereby revoked, repealed and/or amended accordingly.


Separability Clause

SECTION 9. Separability Clause. — If any portion of this Circular is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other portions thereof which are not affected shall continue to be in full force and effect. DHESca



SECTION 10. Effectivity. — This Circular shall take effect after the required publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation and its filing with the National Administrative Register, UP Law Center.

(SGD.) PROCESO J. ALCALASecretaryDepartment of Agriculture


Methods of Commercial Processing with Resultant Commodities That Do Not Remain Capable of Being Infested with Quarantine Pests

Example of 
Carbonization Anoxic combustion of an Charcoal  
  organic material to    
Cooking (boiling, Preparing food items for Cooked items Frequently involves
heating, microwaving consumption by heating,   chemically
including rice primarily transforming the   transforming a food,
parboiling) physical structure of items   thus changing its
      flavor, texture,
      appearance, or
      nutritional properties
Dyeing Coloring of textile fibers Dyed vegetable  
  and other materials by fibers and textiles  
  which the color becomes    
  an integral part of the fiber    
  or material under the    
  influence of pH and    
  temperature changes plus    
  interaction with chemical    
Extraction Physical or chemical Oils, alcohol, Normally done under
  process to obtain specific essences, sugar high temperature
  components from plant-   conditions
  based raw materials,    
  usually through mass-    
  transfer operations    
Fermentation Anaerobic or anoxic Wines, liquors, May be combined
  process changing food/ beer and other with pasteurization
  plant material chemically, alcoholic  
  often involving micro- beverages,  
  organisms (bacteria, moulds fermented  
  or yeasts) and e.g., vegetables  
  sugars to alcohol or    
  organic acids    
Malting A series of actions allowing Malted barley  
  the germination of cereal    
  seeds to develop enzymatic    
  activity to digest starchy    
  materials into sugars and    
  cessation of enzymatic    
  activity by heating    
Multi-method A combination of multiple Plywood,  
processing types of processing such as particle board,  
  heating, high pressure. wafer board  
Pasteurization Thermal processing in Pasteurized Often combined with
  order to kill undesirable or juices, alcoholic fermentation and
  harmful micro-organisms beverages followed by
    (beer, wine) refrigeration (at 4 ºC)
      and proper packaging
      and handling. Process
      time and temperature
      depends on type of 
Preservation in Process of preserving Preserved fruits, Proper conditions of 
liquid plant material in a suitable vegetables, nuts, pH, salinity, etc.
  liquid medium (e.g., in tubers, bulbs must be maintained
  syrup, brine, oil, vinegar or    
  alcohol) of a particular pH,    
  salinity, anaerobic or    
  osmotic state    
Pureeing (including Making homogenized and Pureed items Normally combined
blending) spreadable fruit and/or (fruits, with pulping of fruits
  vegetable tissues, e.g., by vegetables) or vegetables and
  high-speed mixing, screening methods to preserve
  through a sieve or using a   the puree (e.g.,
  blender   pasteurization and
Roasting Process of drying and Roasted  
  browning foods by peanuts, coffee  
  exposure to dry heat and nuts  
Sterilization Process of applying heat Sterilized Sterilization may not
  (vapors, dry heat or boiling substrates, change the condition
  water),irradiation or juices of the commodity in
  chemical treatments in order an evident way, but
  to destroy micro-organisms   eliminates micro-
Sterilization Thermal processing of  Canned Process time and
(industrial) foods that leads to shelf- vegetables, temperature for
  stable products in soups; UHT canned products
  containers by destruction (ultra-high depends on type of 
  of all pathogenic, toxin- temperature) product, treatment
  forming and spoilage juices and geometry of 
  organisms   container. Asceptic
      processing and
      packaging involves
      industrial sterilization
      of a flowing product
      and then packaging in
      sterile environment
      and package.
Sugar infusing Action of coating and Crystallized Usually combined
  infusing fruits with sugar fruit, fruit with pulping,
    infused with boiling, drying
    sugar, nuts  
    coated with  
Tenderizing Process to rehydrate dried Tenderized Usually applied to a
  or dehydrated items by the fruits dried commodity.
  application of steam under   Can be combined
  pressure or submerging in   with sugar infusing.
  hot water    


Methods of Commercial Processing with Resultant Commodities That Remain Capable of Being Infested with Quarantine Pests

Example of 
Chipping (of  Wood reduced to small Chipped wood The probability of 
wood) pieces   infestation is related
      to the species of 
      wood, the presence of 
      bark, and the size of 
      the chips
Chopping To cut into pieces Chopped fruit,  
    nuts, grains,  
Crushing Breaking plant material into Herbs, nuts Usually applied to
  pieces by application of    dried products
  mechanical force    
Drying/dehydration Removal of moisture for Dehydrated fruit,  
(of fruits and preservation, or to decrease vegetables  
vegetables) weight or volume    
Painting (including To coat with paint Painted wood  
lacquering,   and canes, fibers  
Peeling and shelling Removal of the outer or Peeled fruits,  
  epidermal tissues or pods vegetables,  
    grains, nuts  
Polishing (of grain To make smooth and shiny Polished rice and  
and beans) by rubbing or chemical cocoa beans  
  action removing the outer    
  layers from grains    
Post-harvest Operations such as grading, Graded, sorted, Usually carried out in
handling (of fruits sorting, washing or brushing, washed, or packing houses
and vegetables) and/or waxing fruits and brushed and/or  
  vegetables waxed fruit and  
Quick freezing Cooling quickly, ensuring Frozen fruits and Recommended
  that the temperature range of  vegetables international code of 
  maximum ice crystallization   practice for the
  is passed as quickly as   processing and
  possible to preserve the   handling of quick
  quality of fruits and   frozen foods, 1976
  vegetables   CAC/RCP 8-1976
      (Rev 3, 2008),Codex
      Alimentarius, FAO,
      Rome, states that
      "food which has been
      subjected to a quick
      freezing process, and
      maintained at -18 ºC
      or colder at all points
      in the cold chain,
      subject to permitted
      tolerance." Quick
      freezing of fruits and
      vegetables kills
      insects in particular.
      Frozen fruits and
      vegetables are
      prepared for direct
      consumption and will
      decay quickly after
      thawing. Therefore
      the pest risks
      associated with such
      products is
      considered very low.


Example of Commodities under Category 3

a. Fresh fruits and vegetables

b. Beans/peas/nuts/grains

c. Cut flowers

d. Timber/Lumber/Logs


Example of Commodities under Category 4

a. Whole plant/s

b. Cuttings (stem, scion)

c. Seeds

d. Plants in vitro

e. Root stock

f. Rhizomes

g. Bulbs

h. Tubers

i. Corms

j. Stolons

k. Runners

l. Leaves cSHATC

m. Micropropagative plant material