Plant Health: Commission updates rules to better protect Europe’s crops and forests from harmful pests and diseases

EU legislation on plant health aims to better protect crops, fruit, vegetables, ornamentals and forests from quarantine pests (harmful organisms) by preventing their introduction into the EU or their spread within the EU. EU plant health legislation contributes to sustainable agricultural and horticultural production through plant health protection. It also contributes to the protection of public and private green spaces, forests and the natural landscape .

The EU plant health regime is established by Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The Annexes to this Directive provide a list of the harmful organisms which are regulated in the EU. The Annexes also list the requirements that plants, plant products and other objects need to fulfil in order to be allowed to be imported into the EU or to be moved within the EU, to prevent that quarantine pests are introduced or are spread by the trade/movement of those plants, plant products and other objects.

Today, Member State experts meeting at the Standing Committee on Plant Health endorsed a Commission proposal to update these Annexes. The goal aims at ensuring that the level of protection of plant health in the EU remains very high. This amendment includes: the addition of the bronze birch borer Agrilus anxius and the pepper weevil Anthonomus eugeniito the list of regulated harmful organisms for the whole EU, while the oriental chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus and the oak processionary moth Thaumetopoea processionea will be regulated only for a restricted part of the EU (protected zones). Three organisms are deleted from the list of EU quarantine pests (the camellia petal blight fungus Ciborinia camelliae, the brown rot fungus Monilinia fructicola and the plant virus Citrus! vein enation woody gall) due to their widespread presence in the EU and the availability of effective control possibilities to limit their impact. In addition, the import and the internal movement requirements for plants and plant products of over 50 plant genera/species or plant classes are upgraded to ensure that they are in line with the latest technical knowledge and therefore that they are effective in preventing the introduction into, and the spread within, the EU of quarantine pests.

(Source: DGSanco Website)

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