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Food Safety

EU plant health legislation

[Please note: this page is under review and some of the content may be outdated - please refer to our Plant health rules page, instead]

Directive 2000/29/EC lists certain harmful organisms that may be targeted by specific control measures if they are:

  • listed in annexes I and II (Part A, Section I) and found in the EU for the first time;
  • listed in annexes I and II (Part A, Section II) and found in an EU country where their presence was previously unknown.

Specific control measures may also be targeted at other harmful organisms previously unknown to occur in the EU and which are not listed in the annexes of Directive 2000/29/EC but are of potential economic importantance.

If a harmful organism is found in the EU, the country concerned must:

  • notify the Commission and the other EU countries;
  • eradicate or prevent the spread of the harmful organism.

If there is an imminent danger of introduction or spread of a harmful organism, an EU country should state the control measures it would like to see taken and may temporarily take additional national control measures.

Temporary (emergency) control measures may be taken by the EU if the danger comes from consignments of plants, plant products or other objects originating from countries outside the EU.

The Commission examines the situation in the Plant Health section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. It may introduce new EU measures to control the introduction and spread of the harmful organism.

Commission Implementing Directive (EU) 2017/1279 and Commission Implementing Directive (EU) 2019/523 have amended Directive 2000/29/EC establishing the obligation for non-EU countries to communicate some information for importing certain commodities under specific import requirements (see official information submitted by non-EU countries).

Directive 2000/29/EC was repealed on 14 December 2019 and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning protective measures against pests of plants.

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