New EU rules for import of plants

With the aim to protect Europe’s agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the environment from new pests, the new plant health regime has been under the development. The main piece of legislation, which is compliant with International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), is the Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament of the Council of 26 October 2016 on protective measures against pests of plants.

It amends the following regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council:

  • (EU) No 228/2013 on specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union,
  • (EU) No 652/2014 on management of expenditure relating to the food chain, and
  • (EU) No 1143/2014 on invasive alien species.

It repeals the Council Directives:

  • 2000/29/EC on protective measures against the introduction of organisms harmful to plants,
  • 2006/91/EC on control of San José Scale,
  • 2007/33/EC on the control of potato cyst nematodes
  • 69/464/EEC on control of Potato Wart Disease,
  • 74/647/EEC on control of carnation leaf-rollers,
  • 93/85/EEC on control of potato ring rot, and
  • 98/57/EC on control of Ralstonia solanacearum causing potato brawn rot.

The Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 aims to increase the number of successful eradication campaigns by early detection of new risks at import or in the field when eradication is still achievable, identifying new risks by effective information sharing and horizon scanning.

Using scientific support from EFSA, JRC and EPPO in pest risk analysis and risk categorization foreseen already in the IPPC framework, aims to achieve better protection from new risks arising from international trade, traffic and travelling and at the same time better use of resources focusing to different categories of pests, harmful to plants.

Special phytosanitary actions are prescribed for priority pests, i.e. the most dangerous pest for the EU territory, for which stricter import controls, annual surveillance of the EU territory and reporting, contingency planning for action in case of outbreak and simulation exercises are required.

The most risky pathways have been regulated for decades by list of prohibited plants and plant products (Annex III of Directive 2000/29/EC). These prohibited plants will continue to be regulated in Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2019/2072 (Annex VI). In addition, some high risk plants have been temporary prohibited for introduction to the EU by Regulation 2018/2019 until the NPPO of certain third country submits a dossier with necessery data for pest risk assessment and draft risk mitigation measures for the opinion of EFSA Plant Health Panel.

Implementing Commission Decisions regulating the production and import against emerging pests remain in force:

Implementing Commission Decisions regulating the import only also remain in force:

  • 2016/715/EU on Phyllosticta citricarpa amended by decision 2019/449/EU for Citrus fruits originating in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay, except fruits of Citrus aurantium L. and Citrus latifolia 
  • 98/109/EC on Thrips palmi (since 1998) for cut flowers of Orchidaceae which originate in Thailand
  • 2011/787/EC Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) Yabuuchi et al. for Egyptian ware potatoes
  • 2018/1137/EU – the supervision, plant health checks and measures to be taken on wood packaging material from China and Belarusia.

New regulation 2019/2072 applies to import to the EU.

Not only plants for planting, wood, soil and other goods, but also fruits and vegetables require a phytosanitary certificate for import to the EU after 14 December 2019. The only exceptions are fruits of ananas, cocos, banana, date palm and durians.

Published by Lasta

Plant pathology is my profession, plant protection is my job, genealogy is my passion...

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