Plants in baggage

Due to the increasing international air and maritime traffic, travels and Internet trade the non-commercial introductions of plants and plant products represent significant pest risk.

In new Plant Health Regime the EU regulates these pathways, similarly to other biosecurity risks (veterinary and food safety sectors) and equivalently as the other IPPC contracting parties (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, USA, etc.).

Awareness raising among public, stakeholders and Member States authorities is required by Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, as well as controls of passenger baggage to comply with rules.

Prohibitions, restrictions and requirements for plants and goods, which are defined by Phytosanitary Conditions Regulation (EU) 2019/2072, therefore apply also to consignments of a non-commercial nature, unless exempted.

Regarding the passenger baggage the OCR Art 48 allows the following exemptions for plants and other goods from official controls at BCP:

  • (a) goods  sent  as  trade  samples or  as  display  items  for  exhibitions, which are not intended to be placed on the market;
  • (b) animals and goods intended for scientific purposes;
  • (c) goods on board means of transport operating internationally which are not unloaded and are intended for consumption by the crew and passengers;
  • (d) goods which form part of passengers personal luggage and are intended for personal consumption or use;
  • (e) small consignments of goods sent to natural persons which are not intended to be placed on the market;
  • (g) goods which have undergone specific treatment and do not exceed small quantities;
  • (h) categories of animals or goods posing a low risk or no specific risk and for which controls at BCPs are therefore not necessary.

However, detailed rules on implementation of official controls of non-commercial goods still need to be adopted (DA or IA on exemptions from official controls and on small quantities).

Since 2013, the European Plant Protection Organisation encourages the National Plant Protection Organsiations to rise awarness at airport, seaports and other busy places with campaigne “Don’t risk it!” Pests can hide on plants. Don’t bring them home…