Equivalence is one of the general principles of the IPPC (ISPW No. 1: Principles of Plant Quarantine in Relation to International Trade). Most often, equivalence is used in cases where phytosanitary measures already exist against a specific pest associated with trade in a certain product or category of goods. Equivalence is based on a certain phytosanitary risk, this equivalence can be applied to individual measures, to a group of measures or to integrated measures in a systematic approach.
Equivalence requires an assessment of phytosanitary measures to determine their effectiveness in reducing specific phytosanitary risk.
The equivalence of measures may also include an assessment of the phytosanitary systems of the exporting Contracting Party or programmes supporting the application of those measures. Equivalence usually involves a consistent process of information exchange and evaluation; most often it is a procedure agreed between the importing and exporting Contracting Parties. The information shall be provided in such a form as to make it possible to assess the extent to which existing and proposed measures achieve the level of protection required by the importing Contracting Party.