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Friday, 05 December 2014

EUROPHYT - EU Notification System for Plant Health Interceptions

On Wednesday, 3rd December , the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the EUROPHYT - EU Notification System for Plant Health Interceptions. Mr. Jean Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit for Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition in DG DevCo (C1) welcomed the EUROPHYT colleagues who came from DG Health & Consumers (DG SANCO), based in Ireland.  Having underlined the inter-related priorities of food security and agriculture, Mr. Andrew Owen- Griffiths, Head of Unit for Plant Health and genetically modified organisms (SANCO, F4)  and Mr. Nandor Pete, EUROPHYT, (SANCO, F4) outlined the increasing relevance of EUROPHYT as a response to cross-cutting requests for information on plant health from multiple stakeholders.

The EUROPHYT team has received increasing numbers of requests from different DGs and delegations of the EU to provide information on plant health and harmful organisms. These have primarily been introduced as a result of imports from third countries, especially developing countries. Such Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues are increasing relevant for different policy fields and awareness of the harmful effects of imported harmful organisms. In the EU several harmful organisms currently pose a risk to EU plants: stella fastidiosa; long horn; pine wood nematode to name a few. Currently, the EU has a liberal plant health policy, which in practice means that everything can be imported unless it is deemed harmful or is on a list of specific exempt products. EU Member States are obliged to notify the European Commission via EUROPHYT within two working days of interception, and results are shared with EU Member States, Switzerland and the third country in question.

To find our more about EUROPHYT, look here.

To find out more about CTA's work related to this, look here.

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