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ISF Regulated Pest List

The ISF regulated pest list database is updated as and when more pest lists are completed, or new information is available. It is not expected that changes will be notified. In case of any litigation, ISF will not be held liable for the use of the database.


The Regulated Pest List Initiative, or RPLI, was developed in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the harmonization of phytosanitary requirements for seed by developing a database of information on pests that are regulated on internationally traded seed species. Information in the database is based on scientific assessment of whether a pest is a risk to seeds and the experience of the seed industry in managing pests for which seeds can be a pathway.


The ISF regulated pest list database provides a scientific basis for regulating seed and limiting the regulation of pests to those that are necessary to protect plant health. We strive to gain recognition of the regulated pest list database by all stakeholders (industry, customers, NPPOs, researchers) as the key resource for seed-is-a-pathway pests, their detection, and pest management practices to mitigate their risk.


The ISF regulated pest list database is based on a thorough scientific assessment of whether seed is a pathway for the entry, establishment and spread of pests that are regulated. A seed pathway is defined as the ability of a pest carried by the seed internally or externally to transfer to a suitable host and to cause infestation (which include infection, ISPM 05 – Glossary of phytosanitary terms ). This is aligned with the international standard ISPM 38 – International movement of seeds

The information provided for each regulated pest in the database is based on scientific literature with the support of the industry’s knowledge and experience and follows the guidance of the international standard ISPM 38 – International movement of seeds. The potential for a pest to establish and spread is assessed, taking into consideration its biological and epidemiological characteristics.
Furthermore, regulated pests for which seed is a pathway, information on detection methods and pest management activities (e.g., treatments) based on the knowledge and experience of the seed industry, is also provided.

Information on whether a pest is regulated is obtained from national import requirements databases of seed companies and National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs). Type of pests listed in the database include bacterium, chromista, fungus, insect, mite, mollicute (spiroplasma, phytoplasma), nematode, Oomycete, viroid and virus. Invasive plants and noxious weeds are not included in this database.


The RPLI has a clear process for the development of its crop-specific regulated pest lists and the review of existing ones. The database is a work in progress. Regulated pest lists for seed crops are added and existing crop-specific lists are reviewed at regular intervals.

The assessment of each crop-specific regulated pest list is processed independently and externally reviewed with rigour to ensure quality information and referencing, by plant pathologist experts on the crop. The assessment of the ISF regulated pest list follows the principles of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) guidelines.

Assessments are based on scientific evidence by conducting a literature review and the industry’s knowledge and experience. One important aspect of the assessment is the evidence of a pest causing infestation on the crop species in accordance with ISPM 38 – International movement of seeds. A pest that has been proven to be seed-transmitted in one host is not necessarily seed transmitted in all known hosts (ISPM 38). In accordance with ISPM 11 – Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests, pests and their hosts are recommended to be assessed at the species level unless there is technical justification for using a higher or lower taxonomic level.

A pest is defined as any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products and a host is a species capable of sustaining a specific pest or another organism (ISPM 05). Pests associated with seed can be classified as seed-borne, which include seed-transmitted pests, or contaminants and are defined as follows:

A seed-borne pest is a pest that is carried by seeds externally or internally that may or may not be transmitted to plants grown from seeds, causing their infestation (ISPM 38).

A seed-transmitted pest is a seed-borne pest that is transmitted via seeds directly to plants grown from these seeds, causing their infestation (ISPM 38).

A contaminating pest is a pest that is present in a seed lot (including seeds of plants as pests)  (ISPM 38).


The following are the crop-specific regulated pest lists that are currently available in the database.
Species Crop First publication Last revised
Abelmoschus esculentus Okra June 2022 Not applicable
Allium cepa Onion August 2013 To be revised
Brassica spp. Brassica September 2017 To be revised
Capsicum annuum Pepper March 2013 To be revised
Citrullus lanatus Watermelon September 2017 To be revised
Cucumis melo Melon April 2014 To be revised
Cucumis sativus Cucumber March 2013 To be revised
Cucurbita spp. Squash and pumpkin February 2016 To be revised
Daucus carota Carrot February 2016 To be revised
Lactuca sativa Lettuce August 2015 To be revised
Phaseolus vulgaris Bean April 2018 To be revised
Pisum sativum Pea September 2023 Not applicable
Solanum lycopersicum Tomato August 2018 Under revision
Solanum melongena Eggplant May 2021 Not applicable
Spinacia oleracea Spinach April 2014 To be revised
Zea mays Maize Sept 2021 Not applicable


The database is a “living document” subject to periodic review and updates based on feedback from users and changes in national phytosanitary regulations for seed. Your feedback is welcome. If you think some of the information related to a pest is incorrect or incomplete or needs updating, use the link provided in the database (“Report an error”) to inform the ISF Secretariat. It will be used to improve the database, if deemed necessary.