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Commission and member states pave the way for more plant safety across the EU

EU member states have backed the Commission’s proposal for a set of measures that enhance the level of plant protection in the EU. At a Committee meeting in Brussels, experts from all EU countries approved a high-risk list, which includes 39 high-risk plants (35 plants for planting, one fruit, one vegetable and one wood).

The purpose of the list is to ensure that their introduction in the EU will be provisionally prohibited until a full risk assessment is completed. The list also enlarges the current scope of regulated plant material that needs to be accompanied by a specific phytosanitary certificate when imported. This will take effect from 14 December onwards.

According to¸ the certification requirement doesn’t apply to bananas, pineapples, coconuts, durians and dates as they do not represent a risk for the European agricultural production. In addition, the member states approved a decision that will require a detailed view on the information and risk assessment procedures to be followed on the high risk material before getting possible access to the EU market.

On top of that, an update of the current import requirements in particular for fruits was agreed. Finally, with a view to further boost phytosanitary safety across the continent, a harmonized minimum level for import inspections of newly regulated plant material will be introduced, from December 2019 onward.

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