How to survey plants?

“Plants can get sick, too!” was one of slogans developed in creative EPPO environment. Now plants are in active growth all over the globe and the key question of this article is, how a newcommer among viruses, bacteria, fungi or another fatal pathogen of plants could be found at its early epidemiologic stage, when an eradication of disease is still possible?

When I started working with Slovenian National Plant Protection Organisation as head of plant health department 20 years ago, I first put into annual plan a translation of international FAO Glossary of phytosanitary terms (FAO Plant Protection Bulletin 38(1)). A terminology working group composed of chief officials, experts of plant protection and proffesors of phytomedicine in agronomy and forestry started to discuss proper terms and definitions in national language. For many of them this was a start of informal learning of international dimension in the field. Glossary was immediately used in practice, as in 1999 we started to plan annually a set of offical monitorings for quarantine pests, financed from national budget and implemented through the official service. We had numerous discussions whether plant health checks should be done by phytosanitary inspectors or by authorised plant protection experts from institutes. Phytosanitary inspectors had appropriate authorisations, but they were busy with import controls on the borders and they lacked knowledge of field surveys, biology of pests, symptoms and signs of infestation.

Based on discussions about phytosanitary terms like: pest, testing, visual inspection, quarantine area, buffer zone, pest-free area, phytosanitary action, surveillance, etc. also national legislation was developed in 2001 (Law on plant health protection). Among terms we were not able to find proper translation for survey (fr. prospection), which should be done systematicaly and science-based. Still today I notice that in many Slavic languages it is translated as ‘”anketa”, which means systematic research of public opinion by questionaire. My proposal to use a bit obsolete word “prospekcija”, which is used in geodesy, was not accepted, so we used “sistematična raziskava” for survey and “posebni nadzor” for specific surveys in legislation. However, understaning of the term by hierarchy permitted us to involve scientific staff part-time into official procedures and surveillance.

We decied to upgrade authorisations of experts from institutes to “official surveyors” (svn: uradni pregledniki), gave them official badges and official phytosanitary ID cards and thought them basic official procedures, including how to record field surveys for the official use in case of positive finding of quarantine pests. Since then, surveys are succesfully implemented and have grown from initial 10 programs on quaratnine pests in 2000 to 35 in 2012, and are doubled to 70 programs today.

Authorised surveyors covered inland territory, where host plans were grown, inspectors complemented the data about import and internal market controls. Several models of information systems, including weather conditions, prognostic models and geographical analysis with mapping of infested or pest-free areas were developed and results presented to the public on websites. Since 2013, phytosanitary inspectors have not been actively involved into survey programs, but by following a parallel official control program they act in every case, when a quarantine pest is found and phytosanitary measures needed.

What is the most important, we have managed to adjust the EU legislation completely to the IPPC convention and global ISPM standards. Since 2014, a methodology of surveys in the European union has been more harmonised, mainly due to cofinancing of the Member States’ survey programs by the EU. Minimum requirements for national survey programs are respected (Regulation (EU) No. 652/2014) that each survey card or survey protocol contains:

  • description of the pests included in the programme;
  • a description and demarcation of the geographical and administrative areas in which the programme is to be applied and a description of the status of those areas as regards the presence of the pests concerned;
  • the duration of the program indicated (has to be several years);
  • the number of visual examinations, samples and tests scheduled for the pests and plants,
  • plants, products and other objects concerned cleraly defined;
  • the estimated budget assessed;
  • the targets to be attained by the completion date of the program and the anticipated benefits thereof; and
  • appropriate indicators to measure the achievement of the targets of the programme.

The main indiciators used are number of visual checks and number of samples taken for specific objective of survey, which can be:

  • Detection – Surveys for pests that are not known to be present in a specific area with the aim of early detection of new incursions; results serve as an evidence of pest free area (ISPM 5: Survey conducted in an area to determine if pests are present).
  • Demarcation – Surveys to delimit infested from pest free areas and establishing buffer zones, surrounding or adjacent to an area officially delimited for phytosanitary purposes in order to minimize the probability of spread of the target pest into or out of the delimited area, and subject to phytosanitary or other control measures, if appropriate (ISPM 5: Delimiting survey is conducted to establish the boundaries of an area considered to be infested by or free from a pest).
  • Monitoring – Surveys focused on pests that are known to be present in an area/region (ISPM 5: An ongoing survey to verify the characteristics of a pest population).

By my experience, the risk based surveys have higher effectiveness comparing to random sampling for new and emerging pests, which have not yet been established in the area. So, it is of utmost importance to have in the team the experts in pest biology, pathways of introduction and early detection, who design the survey for certain new pest. Luckely, in 2020 the plant health community in Europe has got support from EFSA’s Plant Health Panel (European Food Safety Authority), which prepared some survey cards in support to survey planning. The scheme below is adjusted from EFSA’s understanding of ISPM 6 and ISPM 31 on selection of inspection unit for sampling.

Together with ISPMs and EPPO diagnostic and inspection protocols the reliable sources of information have been available to plan annual surveys for quarantine pests. Survey in this case means systematic applied research or examination implemented by the NPPO as an official procedure conducted over a defined period of time to determine the characteristics of a pest population or to determine which species are present in an area (ISPM 5).

Results of general surveillance and specific surveys are considered reliable and well-structured information on the presence, absence or distribution of plant pests in the country, and information about host plants or commodities as pathways of their introduction and spread. Structured surveillance protocols describe the methodology of surveillance, whether general or specific. (ISPM 6)

Selecting epidemiological and inspections units for field survey on quarantine pests for target host population (adjusted by V. Knapic from EFSA methodology in survey cards).

As terminology is the most important standard in every scientific field, let me mention how it started in phytosanitary. FAO Glossary has been developing since 1986, when North American (NAPPO, led by Hopper) and European plant protection organizations (EPPO, led by Smith) recommended creation of a “Core vocabulary of phytosanitary terms“. The father of this idea was Dr Ian Michael Smith, the director of EPPO, who succesfully led not only development of terminology in the European region, but also in the global phytosanitary society under the umbrella of International Plant Protection Convention, where the Glossary panel has been working since then (he chaired it until November 2014). Many international experts worked in global glossary panel, who cared for concise use of terms. Among native English speakers John Hedley from NZ should be also mentioned. Ian Smith set up the EPPO’s most important fields of work, like coding and systematic work for regional standards and EPPO Global database, risk assessment including alien invasive plants, and all other scientific support needed for official services in member countries. He successfully cooperated with the first plant health officer of the European Commission Marc Vereecke, who was developing the EU phytosanitary directive 77/93/EEC, nowadays known as directive 2000/29/EC (but also replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on 14 December 2019).

Their cooperation led to formation of core groups of international experts, who worked in EPPO Panel on global affairs and working party on phytosanitary regulation, in Commision standing commettee and in EU Council working group on IPPC affairs. Working two decades in these core groups at EU and global level of Comission on Phytosanitary Measures, I have wittnessed accesion of the EU to the IPPC in 2005 and increasing use of IPPC convention and its ISPM standards in EU legislation. Just before Marc Vereecke retired in 2008, he gave me a legal text on the EU accession (on three different papers, printed by typewriter and copied many times in his archive to become hardly legible), to be able to draft rules of procedures for the EU at preparing common positions for the global CPM sessions. During Presidency of Slovenia to the EU in 2008, these rules of procedure were adopted, and serve also today its purpose of agreeing on competences between Member States and the European Commission, who speaks on certain CPM agenda point when adopting international standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPMs).

But “survey” still remains an issue for translation into many languages…


Health is a global issue

3/11 will in the future need no indication of the year that we will remember the WHO’s declaration of pandemic spread of new human disease COVID-19. Like we do not need a further explanation what happened on 9/11 catastrophe. We know when the pandemic outbreak has started in 2020, but we do not know when it ends. Some important sources of information are useful to follow:

The plant health community will be especially affected. We have worked several years to agree globally on necessary awareness-raising on plant health. Finally, the United Nations proclaimed 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. Several hundred events have been planned all over the world to spread the word and increase awareness on the importance of protection of plant health against the new pests and diseases, which spread by commodities and traffic around the globe. Now all of them are endangered, as the main COVID-19 measures are isolation in a quarantine of people with suspected infection and ban of any gathering at events.

Protecting Plants, Protecting Life

The global law on plant health, which we use in daily certification of plant goods in trade, is the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC Secretariat works in Rome at the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Italy has just turned out as the most severely affected country in the world by COVID-19.

The annual Commission on Phytosanitary Measures convention, which was usually organised in Rome last two decades, has been postponed from end March to end June 2020. But it seems unrealistic that the delegates of National Plant Protection Services and Agricultural Ministers from 184 countries will travel to Rome this year. To fly long-distance flights and seat five days in closed meeting rooms with air-conditioning?

Don’t risk it! A slogan of European Plant Protection Organisation to passengers, who hide the plants, seeds and fruits in their baggage, when they return from visits of exotic countries, is appropriate now for such kind of global events and long-distance flights. Not only this year. As long as scientists need to develop a vaccine and/or effective medicine for COVID-19, we may not risk global meetings in another way than on-line. We have got nice experience in South Korea in 2017 when the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures meeting was organised for the first time outside Rome. The interpreters did not travel to Seul, but they stayed in Rome and gave online interpretations to delegates seating in Seul. In 2020, everybody can seat in his own cabinet in his own country and discuss international plant health matters on-line. The EU and its Member States have only two speakers: the European Commission representative and the Presidency (Croatia in 2020). Similarly, the others are organised into regional groups and have Porte-parole officials. Not so many active speakers that on-line system would have any difficulties.

The lesson learnt from 9/11 is that violence begets violence and intolerance breeds intolerance. In 3/11 humanity is protecting vulnerable groups among us. Now the humankind has a common invisible enemy. “The Covid-19 pandemic is proving that prevention is always better than cure, and this applies to the health of humans, animals and plants,” is the key message of the IPPC Secretariat. Phytosanitary inspectors are on their duties also in these days of COVID-19 pandemic, as they assure passing through the state borders the inspected food and other goods of plant origin. Going to paperless business would help at imports, as paper phytosanitary certificates cannot be delivered by air postal services!

The plant health community can learn a lot from this pandemic contingency actions. Also the stakeholders and the general public will learn from official actions, composed mainly of restrictions and prohibitions for proper disease management. Maybe later any crisis management coordination in plant health and response in the safety of plants, plant food/feed and economy will be better understood.

Also plant health measures are standardised globally and the plant health community is developing contingency plans and early responses to new threats in plant health. The pandemic of COVID-19 shows us, how quickly can pathogens spread over the globe. It has been specific simulation exercise concerning the spread of invasive insects, fungi, bacteria or viruses, which affect plant health. These we have witnessed quite some in the last decades…

Check here to see the brand new global Real-Time Media Monitoring | Coronovirus spread visualisation | Social Distancing Simulator

Protection against pests of plants

Since 1977 to 2019 the Council Directive 2000/29/EC on measures to protect the health of EU plants has been considered as the main legal act of the European union, which has been transposed into national legislation of the EU Member States and the other European countries, which want to become once the memeber states. All these created so called “Lists of pests, plants, plant products and other regulated objects” which are under the phytosanitary legislation, including official controls (an example of North Macedonia).

Directive 2000/29/EC aims to protect plants from harmful organisms (pests and diseases) by both preventing their import into the EU and limiting their spread if they do enter. Key points are:

  • Each country must establish an authority responsible for plant health and ban the import of organisms and plants which are considered harmful.
  • The legislation covers living plants and seeds, notably fruit, vegetables, bulbs, cut flowers, branches, cut trees and plant tissue.
  • Plant producers, distributors and importers must be listed in an official register.
  • Certain plants and plant products grown in the country must undergo a health inspection on the premises at least once a year.
  • Plants that satisfy the inspection are given a phytosanitary certificate for export or they bear an agreed mark, called (a plant passport). This is essential for plants being transported outside a place of production and across the border to another country.
  • Plants which do not satisfy the certificate’s conditions are either treated, moved to an area where they pose no risk, sent for industrial processing or they are destroyed.
  • National authorities must conduct random checks on plants where they are grown, stored, sold or transported.
  • National authorities must check certain plants coming from third countries. The inspections cover their packaging and phytosanitary certificate, issued no more than 14 days before their import. They are also subjected to identity and plant health checks at the border inspection point.
  • Where imported plants do not meet the required standards, they may be treated, placed in quarantine, destroyed or the infected produce removed.
  • EU countries must notify each other and the European Commission, as well as the third country concerned if applicable, when any harmful organisms are detected and take all necessary measures to destroy them. Such obligation exists also among other countries, which are contracting parties to the International Plant Protection Convention (standard ISPM 13).

In May 2013, the European Commission proposed a new EU plant health regulation together with a package of legal acts of new plant health regime.

On 14 of December 2019, the Directive 2000/29 EC is going to be replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament of the Council of 26 October 2016 on protective measures against pests of plants, which is going to include in special implementing act also all annexes of the directive (they will only be renamed and reorganised).

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2019/2072 of 28 November 2019 ( OJ L 319, 10.12.2019 ) enters into force on 14 December 2019 by:

  • establishing uniform conditions for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and the Council, as regards protective measures against pests of plants, and
  • repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 on recognised protected zones and
  • amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 by deleting its Article 2 and Annex II on list of plants, which do not require a phytosanitary certificate for the introduction into the EU of the fruits listed.
  • The only plants, which do not require a phytosanitary certificate, issued by exporting phytosanitary inspector for the import into the EU, are fruits: pineapples, coconuts, durians, bananas and dates.
  • All the other plants and plant products need a phytosanitary certificate from country of export and a prior notification of import across selected border control post of the EU by a registered shipment agent using TRACES NT system (help, acceptance, training).
  • Also other countries are enouraged to become paperless certification authorities using the global ePhyto system.

All pieces of EU legislation are compliant with International Plant Protection Convention and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs).


Welcome to the green blog

When plants become a commodity

Do you know that some plants need a passport to travel across the European Union?

Internationally, a phytosanitary certificates have been agreed to be documents, which confirm, that plants in transfer of state borders are healthy and do not threaten the plant health in a country of destination.

Regulated plants from third countries may not enter neither the EU nor other states without an approval by officials of National Plant Protection Organisation, who are inspectors at border control posts.

Protecting plants, protecting life (FAO-IPPC International Year of Plant Health 2020)

Vegetable shipments cross the borders under the watchful eyes of phytosanitary inspectors.

Export of pepperoni at Nairobi airport did not pass an official inspection before an export to the EU .

The shipment has been rejected due to infestation of the EU quarantine pest.

The refusal may be avoided if the exporter knows the control measures of plant diseases and pests, which are common in cultivation, but quarantine for the EU.

Once or twice

The new year 2020 has a magic set of digits. It is bringing a unique awarness raising global campaign as the International Year of Plant Health. All this reminds me of the poem “Nothing twice” by Wislawa Szymborska.

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
This course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with exactly the same kisses.

One day, perhaps, some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
Just as two drops of water are.

Polish writer Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize in Literature 1996 “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”

 The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2020.Thu. 2 Jan 2020. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1996/summary/>

Instead of reading: A song and video by Cindy Morris, a plant pathologist and researcher, who is another bright mind, inspired by non-chemical ways of protecting plant health and International Year of Plant Health. Worth listening…

How to import apples to the EU?

European Union has implemented stricter phytosanitary rules for imports of several species of fruits, including apples. Since 1st of September 2019 a phytosanitary certificate has been required for import from all third countries for apples. Quarantine pests, which must be absent from apple fruits, were listed in Annex I to the Directive 2000/29/EC and special reqirements, which need to be confirmed by official statement in phytosanitary certificate, were in Annex IV Part A Section I of the directive. As Directive 2000/29/EC has been repealed recently by the new EU Plant Health Law, this has to be reflected in import documents, despite the requirements remain the same.

By the risk categorisation, which was done by European Food Safety Authority (Panel on Plant Health), the following harmful organisms have been addressed as Union quarantine pests, which can be introduced by fruits:

The Union quarantine pests shall not be introduced into, moved within, or held, multiplied or released in, the Union territory, except for official testing, scientific or educational purposes, trials, varietal selections or breeding by authorization holder. For regular import a phytosanitary certificate shall confirm, that fruits are free from regulated pests.

The competent authorities of exporting countries needed to inform European Commission on the pest status of regulated pests in their countries, as well as about mitigation measures implemented to reduce the risk of introduction of quarantine pests by imported goods. Based on that information, the European Commission (Food, farming, fisheries; Food Safety; Plants; Plant health and biosecurity) has published a list of countries, from which the import of plants and plant products is allowed. Phytosanitary inspectors at the border control posts of the European Union use these statements in documentary check of declared consignments, at verifiying the option stated as additional declaration on phytosanitary certificates.

In case of apples, the additional declaration on phytosanitary certificate shall contain the wording, such as:

“Consignment complies with Phytosanitary Conditions Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 Annex VII:

  • Point 64 Option (a)  Fruits of Malus  originate in a country recognised as being free from Botryosphaeria kuwatsukai (Hara) G.Y. Sun and E. Tanaka in accordance with the ISPMs
  • Point 65 Option (a)  Fruits of Malus  originate in a country  recognised as being free from Anthonomus quadrigibbus Say in accordance with relevant ISPMs
  • Point 66 Option (a)  Fruits of Malus  originate in a country  recognised as being  free from Grapholita prunivora (Walsh), Grapholita inopinata (Heinrich) and Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh) in accordance with the relevant ISPMs.”

In countries, where the Union quarantine pests are present, other relevant options from Annex VII shall be officially stated for the pests concerned and the EU informed about them, unless the import is prohibited. In other words, introduction of apples and other fruits, listed in Annex XI, Part A and B into EU without a phytosanitary certificate, or with non-compliant certificate or non-compliant goods is not allowed. The only exemptions are some exotic fruits (banana, cocos, ananas, dates, durian), which are not regulated by plant health rules. These rules are applicable for commercial and non-comercial imports (for example in passenger baggage).

The new EU Plant Health Law entered into force on 13 December 2016 and is applicable from 14 December 2019, together with some implementing and delegated acts. The new Plant Health Law has incorporated provisions of Council Directive 2000/29/EC with regards to risk of harmful organisms and regulated host plants, while provisions on official controls were transferred into new official control regulation. The following articles of 2000/29/EC are now regulated by Regulation (EU) 2017/625:

  • Art. 1(4) – single central authority & 2(1)g – NPPO
  • Art. & 2(1)i – Border Inspection Points, competent authorities of Border Control Posts
  • Art. 2(1) p,q,r: def. ‘Consignment’, ‘Transit’
  • Art. 12(1): surveys & inland official controls
  • Art. 13a – import procedures,
  • Art. 13b inspection
  • Art.  13c (2-4): list of places with BIPs/BCPs
  • Art. 13d: Fees
  • Art. 21: audits by EU Commision

Based on plant health regulation (EU) 2016/2031 and official control regulation (EU) 2017/625, several implementing and delegated acts have been recently adopted, or these are expected in the next few years. An important one for imports is the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 of 30 September 2019 laying down rules for the functioning of the information management system for official controls and its system components (the IMSOC Regulation). Exporting countries can even ask the Commission to use Traces New Technology sistem for issuing ePhyto, or their partners in the EU (importers and their shipment agents) can use the CHED-PP module within it for prior notification of consignment for phytosanitary inspection.

The new risks

Import of fruits from third countries may pose a risk of introduction of new pest species, which can destroy growing plants in the EU.

Risk Categorisation in Plant Health

Pest categorization is the process for determining whether a pest has or has not the characteristics of a quarantine pest or those of a regulated non-quarantine pest [ISPM 11:2001].

Risk assessors in the EU work in the framework of European Food Safety Agency in Parma (EFSA) and of European Plant Protection Organisation in Paris (EPPO). Several working groups at the European Commission, including a standing committee on plants, as risk managers then decide in which category a specific pest and its host plants and pathways are regulated.

Once we have got a list of quarantine pests and a list of RNQPs, these shall be under the official control of plant health competent authorities (the IPPC term is National Plant Protection Organisation – NPPO) in production and trade, at import and export. Unless these are the Union priority pests, categorisation of risk is done by NPPOs to prioritise their actions like monitoring, surveys, import inspections, controls of registered operators, etc.

In the European Union we have got regulated more than 300 quarantine species of bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, insects and mites, nematodes, parasitic plants, viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas, which attack tousands of plant species. Every NPPO needs to adjust its phytosanitary actions according to their resources and therefore focus on most important risks at border controls and in inland controls.

Workshop on Risk Categorisation in Plant Health in Veles, MK (12/13 December 2019) has addressed the following topics:

1Welcome address, Dr. Mentor Zekiri, Director of Phytosanitary Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Water Economy
2Phytosanitary component in the project EuropeAid/139253/DH/SER/MK
Speaker: Vlasta Knapič, Key Phytosanitary Expert
3Structure and operation of National Plant Protection Organization in North Macedonia Speakers: Nadica Djerkovska, Head of Plant Health Sector
 4  Quarantine pests in North Macedonia State of play, Pest status and new legislationamendments of List of pests, plants, plant products and other objects and items  (Official Gazette no. 65/10) according last changes of Directive 2000/29/EC: Annexes I to V Speakers: Nadica Djerkovska, Ivica Angelovski, Kalina Altandjieva, PD MAFWE
Coffee break
5Pest risk assessment as a basis for regulation of harmful organisms in the EU
Speaker: Vlasta Knapič
6Discussion on risk assessment experience in North Macedonia – study case
Moderator: Jacek Žandarski, phytosanitary expert
Lunch break
7EPPO standards for pest risk analysis and national PRA Speaker: Jacek Žandarski
8Risk categorization and prioritization in plant health – general principles and application
Speaker: Vlasta Knapič
9 Demonstration of CAPRA use in pest risk analysis Speaker: Jacek Žandarski
Risk categorization – Work in groups
Questions and answers
 Friday, 13 December 2019
1Risk categorization at import controls  and trade facilitation Global standards and practices with risk categorization at import controls
Speaker: Shane Sela – Phytosanitary Expert at WorldBank project at SAI
2Category of quarantine pests and their Pest Status in North Macedonia export after the last changes of Directive 2000/29/EC: Annexes I to V Speaker: Kalina Altandjijeva, PD-MAFWE
3Principles of Categorization of commodities according to their pest risk (ISPM 32) and implementation in the EU import rules EU Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC Annex V.B; EU rules for reduced plant health checks New EU Plant Health Regime. Speakers: Vlasta Knapič and Jacek Žandarski
Coffee break
4Expert opinion on pest risk and mitigation measures in real case; An example of regulated insect pest with occurrence in MK; Dr. Stanislava Lazarevska, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food
 5Expert opinion on pest risk and mitigation measures in real case; An example of regulated pathogen with occurrence in MK; Dr. Rade Rusevski, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food
6Expert opinion on pest risk and mitigation measures in real case; An example of non-regulated pest, important for export, which occurred in MK; Dr. Biljana Kuzmanovska, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food
Lunch break
Work in groups – pest risk assessment using EPPO Rapid PRA scheme
Presentation of WG results and discussion

EU Quarantine lists

The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 establishing uniform conditions for the implementation of Plant Health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 as regards protective measures against pests of plants is a comprehensive document with more than 300 pages. Different categories of pests and regulated plants are organised into Lists and Annexes of the regulation. Its content is summarised bellow.

The EU Quarantine lists, important for import to the EU, are in bold. The next two risk categories of pests are those:

  • regulated as quarantine pests for certain protected zones
  • and regulated nonquarantine pests on plants for planting.

Annex I  Definitions as referred to directives on marketing of seeds and other plant reproductive material

  • Part A  List of terms      
  • Part B: List of Directives and Annexes  

Annex II: List of Union quarantine pests and their respective codes

  • Part A: Pests not known to occur in the Union territory
  • Part B: Pests known to occur in the Union territory

Annex III: List of protected zones and the respective protected zone quarantine pests and their respective codes

Annex IV: List of Union regulated non-quarantine pests (‘RNQPs’) and specific plants for planting, with categories and thresholds of allowed infestation

  • Part A: RNQPs concerning fodder plant seed
  • Part B: RNQPs concerning cereal seed 
  • Part C: RNQPs concerning vine propagating material
  • Part D: RNQPs concerning propagating material of ornamental plants and other plants for planting intended for ornamental purposes           
  • Part E: RNQPs concerning forest reproductive material, other than seeds
  • Part F: RNQPs concerning vegetable seed
  • Part G: RNQPs concerning seed potato               
  • Part H: RNQPs concerning seed of oil and fibre plants
  • Part I: RNQPs concerning vegetable propagating and planting material other than seeds
  • Part J: RNQPs concerning fruit propagating material and fruit plants intended for fruit production        
  • Part K: RNQPs concerning seed of Solanum tuberosum     
  • Part L: RNQPs concerning plants for planting of Humulus lupulus, other than seeds

Annex V: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on specific plants for planting

  • Part A: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on fodder plant seed
  • Part B: Measures concerning cereal seed
  • Part C: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on propagating material of ornamental plants and other plants for planting intended for ornamental purposes
  • Part D: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on forest reproductive material, other than seeds
  • Part E: Measures to prevent the presence of the RNQPs on vegetable seed
  • Part F: Measures to prevent the presence of the RNQPs on seed potatoes
  • Part G: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on seed of oil and fibre plants
  • Part H: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on vegetable propagating and planting material, other than seeds
  • Part I: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on seed of Solanum tuberosum L.
  • Part J: Measures to prevent the presence of RNQPs on plants for planting of Humulus lupulus L., other than seeds

Annex VI: List of plants, plant products and other objects whose introduction into the Union from certain third countries is prohibited

Annex VII: List of plants, plant products and other objects, originating from third countries and the corresponding special requirements for their introduction into the Union territory

Annex VIII: List of plants, plant products and other objects, originating in the Union territory and the corresponding special requirements for their movement within the Union territory

Annex IX: List of plants, plant products and other objects, whose introduction into certain protected zones is prohibited         

Annex X: List of plants, plant products and other objects, to be introduced into, or moved within protected zones and corresponding special requirements for protected zones

ANNEX XI: List of plants, plant products and other objects subject to phytosanitary certificates and those for which such certificates are not required for their introduction into the Union territory

  • PART A – List of plants, plant products and other objects, as well as the respective third countries of origin or dispatch, for which, pursuant to Article 72(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 phytosanitary certificates are required for their introduction into the Union territory
  • PART B – List of the respective CN codes of plants, as well as the respective third countries of their origin or dispatch, for which, pursuant to Article 73 of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, phytosanitary certificates are required for their introduction into the Union territory
  • PART C – List of plants, as well as the respective third countries of origin or dispatch, for which a phytosanitary certificate IS NOT required for their introduction into the Union territory            

Annex XII – List of plants, plant products and other objects for which a phytosanitary certificate is required for their introduction into a protected zone from certain third countries of origin or dispatch    

ANNEX XIII – List of plants, plant products and other objects for which a plant passport is required for movement within the Union territory

ANNEX XIV: List of plants, plant products and other objects for which a plant passport with the designation ʽPZ’ is required for introduction into, and movement within certain protected zone

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.

Rastlinska stenica razlog za ukrepe ob izvozu v Avstralijo in Novo Zelandijo

Od 1. septembra 2019 do vključno 30. aprila 2020 Avstralija in Nova Zelandija uvajata zaščitne ukrepe za preprečevanje vnosa invazivne vrste rastlinske stenice. Ukrepi toplotnega tretiranja ali zaplinjanja pred izvozom bodo doleteli tudi slovenske izvoznike kontejnerskega in drugega blaga, ki privablja marmorirano smrdljivko iz okolja v pribežališča za prezimovanje.

Za skupino blaga z velikim tveganjem, kamor sodijo surovine in izdelki iz lesa, tkanin, plute, kovin, keramike in kamna, državi uvoznici zahtevata tretiranje, ki zadovoljivo uniči morebitne neželene žuželčje potnike, zlasti marmorirano smrdljivko Halyomorpha halys. Izvajalce tretiranj morajo za to odobriti avstralski pristojni organi. V ta namen so organizirali vrsto usposabljanj v sredozemskih lukah. V Luki Koper je bil odobren izvajalec toplotnega tretiranja že v lanskem letu, ko so ukrepi veljali za Italijo. Letos je na seznamu zaščitnih ukrepov poleg ZDA in Kanade že 30 evropskih držav, med njimi tudi Slovenija.

Izvozniki lahko le upajo, da bo izvajalec tretiranj v Luki Koper pravočasno odobren tudi za zaplinjevanje, saj je na seznamu kar nekaj blaga, ki bi pregrevanja nad 60 stopinj ne preneslo. Avstralija in Nova Zelandija sta kot učinkovite fumigante odobrili le pripravke na osnovi sulfuril fluorida, ki so bili v Sloveniji pred kratkim registrirani kot biocidi. Dovoljenja za uporabo sulfuril fluorida kot fitofarmacevtskega sredstva na rastlinskem blagu pa zastopnik v Sloveniji še ni pridobil.

Na podlagi ocene tveganja vnosa marmorirane smrdljivke iz Severne Amerike ali iz Evrope na južno poloblo so znanstveniki določili še drugo skupino tveganega blaga, s katerim bi se stenica lahko vnesla. To blago (surovine in izdelki iz gume, umetne mase, papirja, celuloze, sol, apno, cement, rude, itd.) mora izvoznik ob pakiranju in odpremi natančno pregledati in zagotoviti, da ni kontaminirano ne s to invazivno vrsto stenic, ne z drugimi insekti ali živalmi.

Uradna služba za varstvo rastlin Avstralije in Nove Zelandije bo pregledovala pošiljke iz Evrope in severne Amerike. Ob najdbi živih žuželk ali ugotovitvi, da izvozna pošiljka ni bila tretirana ali pa jo je tretiral nepooblaščen izvajalec, bo pošiljka zavrnjena. Da bi preprečili gospodarsko škodo, so precej naporov vložili v obveščanje in usposabljanje izvajalcev in služb za obvladovanje te nove vrste rastlinske stenice, ki se je pred kratkim zanesla tudi k nam.

Preberite še:

Marmorirana smrdljivka Halyomorpha halys je vsejedka. Hrani se z:

  • vrtninami (paradižnik, fižol, paprika,…)
  • sadjem (jabolka, hruške, lešniki,…)
  • koruzo, sojo in drugimi poljščinami
  • gozdnimi sadeži…

Ko jeseni išče prezimovališče, leze v poslopja, hiše in druga zavetja. Nadležna je tudi zaradi neprijetnega vonja.