Minister Hackett tightens controls on high risk plants and plant product imports

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Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett today announced the introduction of new legislation setting out notification requirements on the arrival of certain plants and plant products from other European Member States – European Union (Plant Health Controls) Regulations 2021 (S.I. no. 310 of 2021).

Minister Hackett commented: “Plant health controls are fundamental to the protection of Ireland’s plant health status. By notifying the Department of the arrival of these plants and plant products into the State, operators will be playing a vital role in preventing the spread of destructive pests and diseases. This will help to maintain and further strengthen Ireland’s favourable plant health status”.

Many plant pests and diseases found elsewhere are still not present in Ireland. The Department implements a strict plant health regime in order to protect this favourable plant health status. The plants and plant products listed in the new Regulations are host species of harmful organisms,  such as Fireblight, both Oak and Pine Proessionary Moth, Oriental Chestnut gall wasp, and certain spruce bark beetle, which are of particular concern to Ireland. Notification is required so that the necessary inspections can be carried out. Included in the list of plants for planting are lavender and rosemary. The list of plant products requiring notification includes fuel wood.

The Minister added that “One of the key principles of my Department’s Plant Health and Biosecurity Strategy is risk-based surveillance for early detection in line with international best practice and scientific evidence. The introduction of additional notification requirements will enable my Department to ensure proper surveillance of trade in these host species and early detection of pests and diseases.”

The Department should be notified of the arrival of these plants and plant products from other Member States as soon as practicable as and no later than 48 hours after arrival into the State.  These arrangements are separate to the notification requirements for import of these plants from outside of the EU.

Note to Editors  

In accordance with the requirements of the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is required to carry out regular risk-based controls concerning all areas of plant health. The harmful organisms listed in the attached schedule have been identified as presenting a high risk to Ireland’s horticulture and forestry industries. Additional notification requirements have been introduced to ensure that the Department is made aware of the entry of the host species of these harmful organisms from other European Member States so that official controls can be organised.

Notification of arrival of plants for planting must be sent by email to plantandpests@agriculture.gov.ie. Notification of the plant products listed must be emailed to  forestprotection@agriculture.gov.ie. The following details must be included in respect of each consignment:

(a)        the date of the plant or plant product’s arrival into the State;

(b)        the destination of the plant or plant product;

(c)        the genus, species and quantity of the plant or plant product;

(d)        the identification number of the supplier of the plant or plant product; and

(e)        the Member State from which the plant or plant product has been delivered.

The importation of these species from outside of the EU is notified through a separate system called TRACES. This process is not affected by the new S.I. A Trader Notice on the new requirements can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/e366e-trader-notices/#2021

1.Plants for Planting     Harmful Organism
QuercusThaumetopoea processionea
Cotoneaster                                      Crataegus (Hawthorn) Malus (Apple) Pyrus (Pear) Sorbus (Mountain Ash)Erwinia amylovora
Castanea (chestnut)Dryocosmus kuriphilus and Cryphonectria parasitica
Coffea (Coffee) Lavandula (lavender) Nerium oleander Olea (Olive) Prunus Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Polygala myrtifolia Vitis (grape vine)Xylella fastidiosa
Prunus          Xanthomonas arboricola pv. Pruni
PinusThaumetopoea pityocampa
2.Plant Products 
Cut Christmas trees over 3m in height 
*Wood of conifers that is not bark free (except sawn wood that has been kiln-dried to below 20% moisture content and where the wood or its wrapping has been marked KD or kiln-dried)   *Isolated bark of conifersIps typographus, Ips amitinus, Ips sexdentatus, Ips cembrae, Ips duplicatus, Dendroctonus micans  
*Fuel woodWood boring insects, bark beetles

Schedule

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