New EU legislation in relation to plant health is now in force and there are new stricter measures to control the entry and spread of pests and diseases of plants in particular personal consignments on individuals when travelling. An outbreak of these pests and diseases can cause significant damage to the environment, the horticulture industry, public parks, private gardens and have serious economic consequences on people’s livelihoods.
Don’t Risk it! - Personal Consignments
The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine are promoting a “Don’t Risk it!” awareness raising campaign targeted at travellers, tourists and commercial businesses who are bringing plants, plant products and other high risk items made of plant material into Ireland from abroad.
Our objective is to highlight the social, environmental and economic impact of bringing in infected plant material or quarantine pests and diseases into Ireland. These impacts can be enormous. For example the olive industry, valued at 10’s of millions of Euro, in particular in Italy has been devastated by Xylella fastidiosa , a disease of South American origin, thought to have been brought into Europe on coffee plants from South America. The risk pathways for entry into Ireland for these quarantine pests and diseases include commercial and private travellers.
The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine carries out physical checks on all regulated and high risk consignments of commercial products from outside the EU, however it is not physically possible for DAFM to check every piece of hand luggage that comes through the airports and ports. Therefore, by educating the public of the risks by targeting the commercial importer to the amateur gardener to the window box herb grower, we will generate awareness of the serious issues and hopefully reduce the number of unchecked plants and plant products stowed away in people’s luggage. Below we have provided pest information sheets on all the major pests of concern to our island.
Plants and Plant Products that require a Phytosanitary Certificate
All personal consignments of plants and plant products require a phytosanitary certificate upon entry into the European Union.
Plants are defined as living plants and the following living parts of plants:
a) seeds, in the botanical sense, other than those not intended for planting;
The original phytosanitary certificate must accompany the plants and plant product when travelling into the EU for presentation to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Maine on arrival.
Prohibited Plants (High Risk)
The European Union has agreed a list of high-risk plants on the basis that are known to host commonly hosted pests known to have a major impact on plant species which are of major economic, social or environmental importance to the Union. Those plants are also known to commonly harbour pests without showing signs of infection, or to have a latent period for the expression of those signs. This reduces the possibility for detecting the presence of such pests during inspections carried out when those plants are introduced into the Union territory.
The introduction of the following plants into the EU is prohibited pending a risk assessment.
1. Plants for planting, originating from all third countries and belonging to the following genera or species:
(other than seeds, in vitro material and naturally or artificially dwarfed woody plants for planting require a phytosanitary certificate)
Persian Silk Tree
Hawaiian Orchid Tree
East Asian White Birch
Mexican Bird of Paradise
Ficus carica L.
Large leaved Linden
2. Plants of Ullucus tuberosus originating from all third countries.
Ullucus tuberosus Loz.
3. Fruits of Momordica L. originating from third countries or areas of third countries where Thrips palmi Karny is known to occur and where effective mitigation measures for that pest are lacking.
4. Wood of Ulmus L. originating from third countries or areas of third countries where Saperda tridentata Olivier is known to occur
Members of the public can report suspected quarantine pests of diseases via their mobile phone on the Tree Check App
or by directly contacting the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine or National Bio-Diversity Data Centre Ireland in the case of Alien Invasive species via the contact details below:
Horticulture and Plant Health Division
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, 2nd Floor, Backweston Campus, Administration Building, Celbridge
, W23 X3PH