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For information to importers - changes to the Council Directive on plant health

Publication date 16.8.2019 13.10
Press release

Finnish Customs informs importers of an amendment to Council Directive 2000/29/EC through Directive (EU) 2019/523, which will be put into force with an amendment to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Decree No 17/08 on Protecting Plant Health.

On 1 September 2019, a phytosanitary certificate is required for products of Actinidia, Carica papaya, Fragaria, Persea americana, Rubus, Vitis and all fruits of the family Solanaceae when they arrive to the European Union from outside the Union. Furthermore, a phytosanitary certificate will in the future be required for fruits of Annona, Cydonia, Diospyros, Malus, Mangifera, Passiflora, Prunus, Psidium, Pyrus, Ribes, Syzygium and Vaccinium, also when they arrive from a European country outside the European Union.

Changes will be made regarding the import requirements for certain perishable goods. These changes will affect for example the additional phrases marked in the phytosanitary certificate. The changes concern the following products:

  • Fruits of the Citrus, Fortunella and Poncirus families and their hybrids as well as of Mangifera and Prunus
  • Fruits of the families Capsicum and citrus (other than Citrus Limon and Citrus aurantiifolia) as well as fruits of Prunus persica and Punica granatum from countries of mainland Africa, Cape Verde, Saint Helena, Madagascar, Réunion, Mauritius or Israel.
  • Fruits of the Malus and Pyrus families, as well as fruits of the Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Vaccinium families from Canada, Mexico and the United States
  • Fruits of the species Capsicum annuum, Solanum aethiopicum, Solanum lycopersicum and Solanum melongena
  • Fruits of the family Solanaceae from Australia, the Americas and New Zealand

Customs implements possible reduced inspection rates on products under Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC based on regulation EC/1756/2004. The reduced inspection rate is 5 for completely new products that are to undergo phytosanitary inspections (Actinidia, Carica papaya, Fragaria, Persea americana, Rubus, Vitis). For fruits and berries of the products Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Ribes and Vaccinium, the inspection rate is also 5, when they are imported to Finland from a European country outside the European Union. If the product is not on the list, the rate of physical phytosanitary inspection is 100. Detailed information on products that require a phytosanitary certificate is available on the Finnish Food Authority’s website and in the Food Authority’s updated instructions (The Food Authority’s instruction in Finnish Kasvien terveystodistus).

More changes are on the way regarding products for which a phytosanitary certificate is required. These changes will be implemented from 14 December 2019. Finnish Customs urges importers to follow Customs own bulletins and the Finnish Food Authority’s bulletins in the matter. Information on amendments to the Plant Health legislation is also available on Customs’ social media and the Finnish Food Authority’s Twitter account @Ruokavirasto, #kasvinterveys.

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