BRUSSELS, Belgium: False codling moth and white fly were mainly found in consignments of East African roses and chrysanthemum respectively. With respect to planting material, Bemisia tabaci (non-European populations) continued to be the most intercepted harmful organism, followed by Hirschmanniella spp (nematodes) according to the Europhyt annual report.
In 2018, EUROPHYT received a total of 9,053 notifications concerning consignments intercepted due to non-conformities with EU requirements, of which 8,720 were of non-EU country origin
EUROPHYT is the notification and rapid alert system for interceptions (for plant health reasons) of consignments being imported into the EU or traded between Member States. Members (EU Member States and Switzerland) enter data about non-compliant consignments into the database, which then immediately notifies all other members. These are stored in a database that all members can access.
The organisation’s 2018 report presents key statistics on non-EU country interceptions from 2018 and provides analysis of trends in interceptions based on annual figures for the period 2014-2018.
In 2018, the total number of notifications due to the presence of harmful organisms (HOs) exhibited an increase over the previous year, although still lower than 2014. This rise was attributable to increased interceptions of thrips on a wide range of commodities from a diverse range of non-EU countries, increased eggplant fruit borer interceptions, predominantly from West Africa, increased nematode interceptions on wood packaging material (WPM) from Belarus, and an increase in citrus black spot interceptions from Brazil and Argentina.
There was a profound increase in seed interceptions in 2018, largely due to interceptions on small and medium sized postal packages, led by Germany and the United Kingdom, with the absence of a phytosanitary certificate as principal non-conformity.
Harmful organism interceptions in seeds however remained very low. Fruit and vegetables (particularly peppers, Solanum other than potato and tomato, mango, citrus, basil, and various gourds), cut flowers, WPM, and planting material remained the main commodities intercepted with HOs. Interceptions of fruit flies, white flies and false codling moth on fruit and vegetables fell during 2018, whereas increases were recorded in thrips, citrus black spot, leafminers, fall armyworm and citrus canker.
As regards cut flowers, the pronounced increase in HO interceptions was mainly attributable to false codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta) interceptions on roses from East Africa and white fly on Chyrsanthemum spp. There was no marked change this year in WPM interceptions with HOs. Both China and India recorded decreases in their respective interception rates, but interceptions for Belarus increased, and, to a lesser extent for the Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Vietnam. With respect to planting material, Bemisia tabaci (non-European populations) continued to be the most intercepted HO, followed by Hirschmanniella spp. (nematodes).
Species identification of HOs in notifications decreased during 2018. Further efforts should be pursued for more detailed taxonomic reporting towards supporting EUROPHYT to more effectively support measures of the European member states and the Commission with respect to risks from imports. Despite on-going efforts by member states, EUROPHYT- Interception notifications are still not submitted within the two working days stipulated in EU legislation and there is still a need for improvement.