A report from the European Commission shows an 11% decrease between 2014-2015 of the total number of interceptions of harmful organisms in plants and vegetable products imported or commercialised in the EU. 

The report shows that overall, the amount of notifications in 2015 concerning merchandise from third countries increased by 4.4% to 7,180. However, within this total, a decrease in the number of interceptions linked to the presence of harmful organisms has decreased. 2,136 interceptions are due to the presence of such organisms, i.e. 11% less than in 2014. 

These notifications mainly come from 7 third countries. The main products that were intercepted at import were fruit and vegetables (72.3% - lemons, aubergines, mangoes etc…), woody plants (13.2%), cut flowers (5.1%) and plant material (2.4%). Notifications are immediately transmitted to the phytosanitary health authorities of member countries and the exporting countries. 

The Commission has underlined that “With the increase in commerce over the last few decades, the risk of introducing new parasites and diseases has increased”. They could propagate and damage the environment, destroy indigenous vegetable species, lead to a considerable economic loss in the agricultural sector and lead to an increase in pesticides. “Consequently, measures aiming to prevent their introduction and propagation are essential”.