Plants and plant products originating in countries outside the European Union and brought in by post or carried in travelers' personal luggage pose a serious risk to plant health in the EU, in particular plants or parts thereof harvested in kind or purchased from an unverified seller in another continent, they can bring with them a viral, bacterial or fungal infection or eggs and other developmental stages of plant pests that can overgrow in our environment. Many alien species are much more invasive in our environment without natural enemies and can cause great economic damage in production or in nature.

Due to the risk of introduction of dangerous plant pests into the European Union, strict rules apply to the introduction of certain plant species and plant products from countries outside the European Union in personal consignments.

All plants or plants intended for planting, certain plant seeds, tubers, green parts of plants and flowers must be grown in such a way that they do not carry quarantine pests when traded. They are therefore usually grown by registered growers under the supervision of the phytosanitary authorities of the country of origin, who may issue a phytosanitary certificate for the consignment of plants.

When purchasing the above-mentioned plant goods, it is therefore necessary to select verified suppliers, and when entering the European Union, the consignment must be accompanied by the prescribed phytosanitary certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country. The exception is only for 5 types of fruit: bananas, coconut, dates, pineapple and durian. This fruit can be introduced without a phytosanitary certificate.

EU legislation also provides for a list of prohibited goods (List VI of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072). It includes in particular:

  • seed and edible potatoes.

  • plants for planting and parts of certain fruit and wood ornamental plants and vines,

  • plants for planting from the family razhudnikovk (tomatoes, peppers, pepperoni, petunias, potatoes, brugmansia, chrysanthemums, goji berries, ..).

  • grass seedlings (except some ornamentals),

  • bonsai (conifers),

  • soil and growing media (excluding peat and coconut fiber).

The European Plant Protection Organization - EPPO has also launched a public awareness campaign on the risks of non-commercial entry and movement of plants with luggage, as amateur growers like to return from international travel with parts of exotic plants from which to grow new plants.

More information is available at the following links:

  • https://www.gov.si/en/policies/agriculture-forestry-and-food/import-export-and-trade-in-animals-plants-and-plant-and-animal-products/import-of-plants-plant-products-and-plant-protection-products/

  • https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-181068?lg=EN%2FSL

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