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Protection against organisms harmful to plants and plant products

The European Union (EU) is adopting measures to protect itself against the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants and plant products from other Member States or third countries. It is also providing for control measures and the creation of protected zones.

ACT

Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Directive lays down measures designed to protect Member States against the introduction of organisms harmful to plants and plant products from other Member States or third countries.

This Directive also lays down measures designed to protect Member States against the spread of harmful organisms within the European Union (EU).

Scope

The Directive covers living plants and living parts of plants, including seeds.

Living parts of plants are:

  • fruit and vegetables that have not been deep-frozen,
  • tubers, corms, bulbs, rhizomes,
  • cut flowers,
  • cut trees and branches with foliage,
  • leaves,
  • live pollen,
  • grafts and any other part of a plant.

Plant products are products of plant origin, unprocessed or having undergone simple preparation, other than the items listed above. Wood as such is also covered in some cases.

"Harmful organisms" as defined by the Directive means pests of plants or of plant products, which belong to the animal or plant kingdoms, or which are pathogens. This definition covers in particular insects and mites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasite plants. Annexes I and II list the harmful organisms banned in the EU, either altogether or when they are on certain plants or plant products. Annex III lists plants and plant products that must not be imported from certain countries.

The protective measures also relate to the means by which plants, plant products and other related items are moved (packaging, vehicles, etc.).

The protective measures also cover the movement of plants and plant products between the EU and some of its outermost regions, namely the French overseas departments and the Canary Islands.

Placing on the market and intra-Community trade

This Directive requires certain plants and plant products (Annex V, part A) to undergo a plant-health inspection. This inspection must take place at least once a year at the place of production, at appropriate times, i.e. during the growth period or just after harvesting. It applies to plants and plant products at the production site and their growing environment.

Producers must be listed on an official register held by the national body responsible.

Exemptions may be granted for products for the local market if there is no risk of the harmful organism spreading.

When the check gives satisfactory results, the national body responsible issues a plant passport attesting compliance with Community plant-health rules. This passport is usually in the form of a standard label to be affixed to the product, its packaging or sometimes the vehicle in which it is transported. The passport may be replaced in certain circumstances (change of plant health status, division into batches, etc.) and subject to certain conditions.

Where the results of a check are not satisfactory, the plants, plant products and growing media concerned may be subject to various measures such as appropriate treatment (if this is successful, the passport is then issued), movement under official control, or destruction. The Member States must also notify the Commission and the other Member States of the presence of harmful organisms or the risk of their entering or spreading on their territory.

In addition to plant-health inspection, Member States are to organise occasional checks, whether at the place where plants or plant products are grown, produced, stored, offered for sale or moved, or at the same time as any other documentary check which is carried out for reasons other than plant health.

Imports from third countries

This Directive subjects certain plants and plant products from other countries (Annex V, part B) to a check on entry into EU territory. This involves a documentary check, an identity check and a plant-health check.

The documentary check consists in checking certificates and documents accompanying the consignment or batch, in particular the plant-health certificate. This is issued by the authority responsible in the country of origin or re-export, using models drawn up by the Commission. It has to certify that the products have undergone appropriate and satisfactory inspections.

The identity check involves checking that the consignment tallies with the plants or plant products covered by the certificate.

The plant-health check involves checking, on the basis of a complete examination or an examination of samples, that the plants or plant products show no signs of contamination by harmful organisms and that they meet the specific requirements defined in this Directive.

The Directive provides for less stringent identity and plant-health checks where certain guarantees are provided.

It also provides for exemptions where there is no risk of harmful organisms spreading, in particular in the following cases:

  • where plants of plant products are merely in transit from one point in the EU territory to another via a third country or from a point in one non-EU country to a point in another non-EU country via EU territory.
  • where small quantities of plants or plant products are not intended for industrial or commercial purposes or are to be consumed during transport are involved;
  • where plants or plant products are intended for trials or scientific purposes and for work on varietal selections;
  • where plants or plant products are grown, produced or used in the immediate frontier zone between a Member State and a third country.

Importers of certain plants or plant products (Annex V) must be on their Member State's official register.

If the results of the checks are satisfactory, instead of a phytosanitary certificate a passport and the rules applicable to intra-Community movement apply. If not, one or more of the following measures may be taken: access to EU territory may be refused, the consignment may be sent back to a destination outside the EU, the contaminated products may be removed from the consignment, destroyed, placed in quarantine pending further tests, or treated appropriately (this last measure is possible only in exceptional cases and under very precise circumstances). The Member State concerned must also inform the Commission and the other Member States of the situation and what measures have been taken.

Protected zones

The Directive establishes, at the request of one or more Member States, special protected zones to guard against certain harmful organisms. Each zone may cover all or part of the territory of a Member State and must be defined in specific geographic terms and in relation to the harmful organisms concerned.

The reason for this protection is the absence of specified harmful organisms in this zone despite conditions favourable to their development.

The additional protection provided in the protected zones includes:

  • an additional list of harmful organisms the introduction and spread of which in the protected zones is prohibited;
  • an additional list of plants and plant products the introduction of which into the protected zones is prohibited;
  • an additional list of specific requirements to be met by certain crops and crop products when they are introduced into or moved within the EU.

National official bodies

The national official bodies may delegate the tasks attributed to them under this Directive to any legal person, whether governed by public or private law. Tasks relating to laboratory analyses may also be delegated. However, in this specific case, the national official body shall ensure that:

  • the legal person responsible for carrying out the analyses is able to guarantee impartiality and quality as well as the protection of confidential information;
  • that there are no conflicts of interest between the tasks entrusted to the legal person and the latter’s other activities.

Background

This Directive replaces and consolidates Directive 77/93/EEC and subsequent amendments. It is based on the principles accepted internationally in the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the WTO SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) agreement.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2000/29/EC

30.7.2000

20.1.2002

OJ L 169 of 10.7.00

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2002/89/EC

30.12.2002

1.1.2005

OJ L 355 of 30.12.2002

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004

20.5.2004

-

OJ L 165 of 30.4.2004

Directive 2009/143/EC

24.12.2009

1.1.2011

OJ L 318 of 4.12.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/29/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference only.

AMENDMENTS TO THE ANNEXES

Annex I
Directive 2002/28/EC [Official Journal L 77 of 20.3.2002];
Directive 2002/36/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 03.5.2002];
Directive 2003/22/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003];
Directive 2004/31/EC [Official Journal L 85 of 23.3.2004];
Directive 2004/70/EC [Official Journal L 127 of 29.4.2004];
Directive 2005/16/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005];
Directive 2006/35/EC [Official Journal L 88 of 25.3.2006];
Directive 2008/64/EC [Official Journal L 168 of 28.6.2008];
Directive 2009/7/EC [Official Journal L 40 of 11.2.2009].

Annex II
Directive 2002/28/EC [Official Journal L 77 of 20.3.2002];
Directive 2002/36/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 3.5.2002];
Directive 2003/22/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003];
Directive 2003/47/EC [Official Journal L 138 of 5.6.2003];
Directive 2003/116/EC [Official Journal L 321 of 6.12.2003];
Directive 2004/31/EC [Official Journal L 85 of 23.3.2004];
Directive 2004/70/EC [Official Journal L 127 of 29.4.2004];
Directive 2004/102/EC [Official Journal L 309 of 6.10.2004];
Directive 2005/16/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005];
Directive 2006/35/EC [Official Journal L 88 of 25.3.2006];
Directive 2007/41/EC [Official Journal L 169 of 29.6.2007];
Directive 2008/64/EC [Official Journal L 168 of 28.6.2008];
Directive 2009/7/EC [Official Journal L 40 of 11.2.2009];
Directive 2009/118/EC [Official Journal L 239 of 10.9.2009];
Directive 2010/1/EU [Official Journal L 7 of 12.1.2010].

Annex III
Directive 2002/28/EC [Official Journal L 77 of 20.3.2002];
Directive 2003/22/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003];
Directive 2003/116/EC [Official Journal L 321 of 6.12.2003];
Directive 2004/31/EC [Official Journal L 85 of 23.3.2004];
Directive 2004/70/EC [Official Journal L 127 of 29.4.2004];
Directive 2004/102/EC [Official Journal L 309 of 6.10.2004];
Directive 2005/16/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005];
Directive 2006/35/EC [Official Journal L 88 of 25.3.2006].
Directive 2008/64/EC [Official Journal L 168 of 28.6.2008].
Directive 2009/118/EC [Official Journal L 239 of 10.9.2009];
Directive 2010/1/EU [Official Journal L 7 of 12.1.2010].

Annex IV
Directive 2002/28/EC [Official Journal L 77 of 20.3.2002];
Directive 2002/36/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 3.5.2002];
Directive 2003/22/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003];
Directive 2003/47/EC[Official Journal L 138 of 5.6.2003];
Directive 2003/116/EC [Official Journal L 321 of 6.12.2003];
Directive 2004/31/EC [Official Journal L 85 of 23.3.2004];
Directive 2004/70/EC [Official Journal L 127 of 29.4.2004];
Directive 2004/102/EC [Official Journal L 309 of 6.10.2004];
Directive 2005/15/EC [Official Journal L 56 of 2.3.2005];
Directive 2005/16/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005];
Directive 2006/14/EC [Official Journal L 34 of 7.2.2006];
Directive 2006/35/EC [Official Journal L 88 of 25.3.2006];
Directive 2007/41/EC [Official Journal L 169 of 29.6.2007].
Directive 2008/64/EC [Official Journal L 168 of 28.6.2008].
Directive 2009/7/EC [Official Journal L 40 of 11.2.2009];
Directive 2009/118/EC [Official Journal L 239 of 10.9.2009];
Directive 2010/1/EU [Official Journal L 7 of 12.1.2010].

Annex V
Directive 2002/36/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 3.5.2002];
Directive 2003/22/EC [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003];
Directive 2003/47/EC [Official Journal L 138 of 5.6.2003];
Directive 2003/116/EC [Official Journal L 321 of 6.12.2003];
Directive 2004/31/EC [Official Journal L 85 of 23.3.2004];
Directive 2004/102/EC [Official Journal L 309 of 6.10.2004];
Directive 2005/16/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005];
Directive 2005/77/EC [Official Journal L 296 of 12.11.2005];
Directive 2007/41/EC [Official Journal L 169 of 29.6.2007].
Directive 2009/7/EC [Official Journal L 40 of 11.2.2009];
Directive 2009/118/EC [Official Journal L 239 of 10.9.2009].

Annex VIII
Directive 2002/89/EC [Official Journal L 355 of 30.12.2002].

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 of 4 July 2008 recognising protected zones exposed to particular plant health risks in the Community [Official Journal L 193 of 22.7.2008].
See consolidated version

Commission Directive 2008/61/EC of 17 June 2008 fixing the conditions under which certain harmful organisms, plants, plant products and other objects listed in Annexes I to V to Council Directive 2000/29/EC may be introduced or moved within the Community or certain protected zones thereof, for trial or scientific purposes and for work on varietal selections [Official Journal L 158 of 18.6.2008].

Commission Directive 2004/105/EC of 15 October 2004 determining the models of official phytosanitary certificates or phytosanitary certificates for re-export accompanying plants, plant products or other objects from third countries and listed in Council Directive 2000/29/EC [Official Journal L 319 of 20.10.2004].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1756/2004 of 11 October 2004 specifying the detailed conditions for the evidence required and the criteria for the type and level of the reduction of the plant health checks of certain plants, plant products or other objects listed in Part B of Annex V to Council Directive 2000/29/EC [Official Journal L 313 of 12.10.2004].

Commission Directive 2004/103/EC of 7 October 2004 on identity and plant health checks of plants, plant products or other objects, listed in Part B of Annex V to Council Directive 2000/29/EC, which may be carried out at a place other than the point of entry into the Community or at a place close by and specifying the conditions related to these checks [Official Journal L 313 of 12.10.2004]

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1040/2002 of 14 June 2002 establishing detailed rules for the implementation of the provisions relating to the allocation of a financial contribution from the Community for plant-health control and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2051/97 [Official Journal L 157 of 15.6.2002].
See consolidated version

Commission Regulation (EC) No 997/2002 of 11 June 2002 establishing detailed rules for the implementation of the provisions relating to the allocation of a Community financial contribution for Member States in order to strengthen inspection infrastructures for plant health checks on plants and plant products coming from third countries [Official Journal L 152 of 12.06.2002].

Commission Directive 92/105/EEC of 3 December 1992 establishing a degree of standardisation for plant passports to be used for the movement of certain plants, plant products or other objects within the Community, and establishing the detailed procedures related to the issuing of such plant passports and the conditions and detailed procedures for their replacement [Official Journal L 4 of 8.1.1993].
Amended by:

Directive 2005/17/EC [Official Journal L 57 of 3.3.2005].

Commission Directive 92/90/EEC of 3 November 1992 establishing obligations to which producers and importers of plants, plant products or other objects are subject and establishing details for their registration [Official Journal L 344 of 26.11.1992].

Last updated: 12.07.2010
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