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Applying to import into containment

Identification and assessment of risks, costs and benefits

A risk, cost, benefit analysis forms the core of the information upon which the Authority will decide whether or not to approve an application for importation of a control agent into containment. The applicant must provide sufficient information to enable the Authority to make that decision. The identification and assessment of risks, costs and benefits is approached in the same way whether the application is for containment or for general release. The likelihood of environmental, human health, social, cultural or economic effects (whether adverse or beneficial) arising from the introduction of an organism into containment will be relatively low in almost all cases.

Risks and costs

All foreseeable and reasonable effects of the proposal to import the organism into containment must be identified systematically to ensure that nothing is left unconsidered. In particular, the applicant must address the possible pathways by which an organism might escape containment. The applicant should explain how risk identification was conducted, and explain the basis on which some risks were eliminated as insignificant. The magnitude and likelihood of each risk should be assessed.

See technical guides mentioned above.

Benefits and cost-benefit analysis

As with risks and costs, the magnitude of benefits is a function of the magnitude of the benefits and the likelihood that those benefits will be achieved. The primary benefits of a proposal to import only into containment are the acquisition of essential knowledge to support an application to release, or the elimination of associated organisms prior to release and not the ultimate benefits of the eventual biological control programme.

The applicant should present a contingency plan that outlines the response to escape of the organism in any part of the facility, and how this would mitigate risk (refer to section Completing an application to the EPA for the introduction into containment of a biological control agent').