Upcoming European prohibition on imported ficus?

The Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority (NVWA) notifies Dutch companies and other interested groups on the public internet consultation about a proposition of the European Commission proclaiming an import ban on 39 genera (species) of woody plants starting on the 14th of December 2019.

Interested parties have until the 15th of August 2018 to respond to the European Commission's proposition. The EU presented a list of 39 woody plant genera on the 18th of July 2018. If this list doesn’t get changed the import ban will be applicable to all 39 plants. In the proposition, the import of fruits and leaf material is not prohibited.


Boxtree caterpillar and moth. Image: Marja van der Straten (NVWA)

Plant health regulation 
The proposition of the European Commission can be linked to the new Plant Health Regulation (2016/2031), with which the EU wants to put more emphasis on preventive measures to prevent the introduction of harmful organisms. According to the regulation, new import bans can be applied to high-risk plants, based on current information.

Which plants will be banned?
Among others, the Ficus and Cycas are on the list, of which, respectively, 4 million and 1 million plants are imported by Dutch companies on a yearly basis. Also, large amounts are being imported of Acer, Jasminum, Ligustrum, and Lonicera.

More background information and the full list can be found on the website of the NVWA.

Source: KCB

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