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Phytosanitary Issues

Phytosanitary issues concerning the exchange of plant material present in situ or on farm / in garden 

Phytosanitary measures 

Phytosanitary measures are important as harmful organisms can have a negative effects on crop yields and in some cases on animal & human health.

In this context the EU has developed a number of directives which are enforced in EU countries. After a transition period, the directive (EU directive 2000/29) was replaced by a new one (EU regulation 2016/2031, associated with 2017/625, 2019/2072 and 2019/829) in December 2019.

This new EU regulation is implemented in national law of the various EU countries as it is a regulation and not a directive.

Private persons who only cultivate material for their own use on their own land are not subjected to the aforementioned directives/regulations. However in all other cases the abovementioned directives/regulations apply.

This means that for the production of seed or material for consumption which is sold in the public domain one needs to register with the national authorities.

In large scale conventional and biological agriculture the regulations fit, but in case of the maintenance and marketing of old varieties or landraces, this is less clear as the production of seed or plant material is in the majority of the cases marginal. Therefore the costs to comply to these regulations can be higher than the profits made by selling products, which can result in not cultivating these varieties anymore and eventually the loss of these old varieties. It may be possible that national authorities have specific approaches to deal with this problem and therefore it is advised to contact the national authorities on this issue. 

Organisations involved in in situ management, like nature reserves, should also comply with the abovementioned EU phytosanitary regulations, however they are also advised in case of exchange of plant and seed material to other parties to contact the national authorities on phytosanitary issues.  

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