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Food Safety

Notification procedure

Commission Directive 94/3/EC forms the basic protocol for the EUROPHYT notification process implemented by the EU Member States, Switzerland and the European Commission.

EUROPHYT is used for the three major types of notifications:

1. Interceptions of consignments of plants or plant products or other objects imported from non-EU countries due to:

  • presence of regulated harmful organisms (i.e. organisms specifically banned by EU law from entering into or being spread within the EU) or

  • organisms that could present a phytosanitary danger.

When such an interception is made the notification must be submitted within two working days and preferably earlier if the consignment was rejected.

The Rapid Alert component of EUROPHYT ensures that the notification is immediately distributed to all other Member States and Switzerland as well as to the country that exported the consignment.

2. Interceptions of consignments of plants, plant products or other objects imported from non-EU countries that do not comply with EU phytosanitary standards for other reasons than the presence of a harmful organism:

  • import of prohibited plants, plant products or other objects;

  • absence of the phytosanitary certificate. (The phytosanitary certificate has to be issued according to the relevant standards of the International Plant Protection Convention of the United Nations);

  • incomplete, illegible or expired phytosanitary certificate or missing or inadequate additional declaration specifying how specific EU requirements have been met;

  • non compliance with special requirements (including the lack of the required mark on solid wood packaging material to indicate that it has been treated).

There is no specific time limit for the notification of such interceptions, but Member States are encouraged to apply the same deadline as for interceptions of harmful organisms.

3. Notification of interceptions of consignments being traded/moved between Member States for reasons, such as:

  • the presence of a harmful organism;

  • absent or incorrect plant passport;

  • lack or incorrect plant health movement document (used when the import controls are not completed at the first point of entry into the EU).