Floribusiness Proposed EU import ban: most high-risk plants remain on the list

    Proposed EU import ban: most high-risk plants remain on the list


    The EU has taken a temporary decision on the proposed import ban on high-risk (ornamental) plants from countries outside the EU that will apply from December 2019. Some of the genera are removed from the list, but most remain there for the time being.

    The EU Standing Committee on Plant Health reports that these genera have been removed from the list: Cycas, Eucalyptus, Ostrya and Syringa. That means that plants of these genera can still be imported for planting.

    The genus Ficus is also removed from the list, but has been replaced by Ficus carica: this species will stay on the list for the time being.

    Remain on list

    In addition to Ficus carica, these genera remain also on the list what may lead to a (temporary) import ban: Acacia, Acer, Albizia, Alnus, Annona, Bauhinia, Berberis, Betula, Caesalpina, Cassia, Castanea, Cornus, Corylus, Crataegus, Diospyros, Fagus, Fraxinus, Hamamelis, Jasminum, Juglans, Ligustrum, Lonicera, Malus, Nerium, Persea, Populus, Prunus, Quercus, Robinia, Salix, Sorbus, Taxus, Tilia and Ulmus.

    Fruit and wood

    There may also be an import ban on fruit from Momordica (subtropical climber) from countries outside the EU where Thrips palmi occurs and that don’t have effective measures against this organism. The EU wants to know how this works out in practice.

    The EU is working on a list of third countries that are free from Saperda tridentata, a beetle that can attack Ulmus wood. These countries will then be excluded from the EU import ban on Ulmus wood.

    Finally, phytosanitary certificates will no longer be necessary for fruit of these genera: Ananas comosus (pineapple ), Cocos nucifera (coconut), Durio zibethinus (durian), Musa (banana) and Phoenix dactylifera (dates).

    Final decision mid December

    Today (28 September) the EU informs the authorities of third countries about the temporary decision. They can submit a derogation request. Subsequently, the European Food and Safety Authority EFSA can draw up an assessment for such a derogation request from a specific third country and product.

    The EU must have taken a final decision on 14 December 2018. It is part of the new EU Plant Health Regulation that will be effective one year later.

    Last summer the EU received feedback on the proposed import ban from 208 nurseries, trading companies, associations and phytosanitairy services.

    Arno Engels
    Since 2000 Arno Engels has been editor of De Boomkwekerij, Dutch magazine for hardy nursery stock. Since 2018 he is also Floribusiness editor.

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