Plant health protection means protection of the health of plants, plant products and other objects against harmful organisms by taking plant health measures.
Controls of import of agricultural seeds material provide for import of agricultural seeds material of good quality, for preservation of the environment and protection of consumers. Controls of import of forest reproductive material provide for import of good-quality reproductive material which is well-adjusted to the habitat.
Plant Health Act (hereinafter referred to as: the Act) summarises several Commission directives one of which is also Council Directive 2000/29/EC on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community (hereinafter referred to as: the Directive). The Directive provides at Community level for plant health requirements applicable to plants and plant products upon their introduction into the EU.
The annexes to the Directive contain lists with the following contents:
- prohibition relating to the introduction of harmful organisms into the EU (Annex I, Part A; Annex II, Part A; Annex I, Part B and Annex II, Part B),
- prohibition as regards the introduction of plants, plant products and other objects originating in specific countries (Annex III, Part A and Annex III, Part B),
- special plant health requirements which must be complied with for the introduction and movement of plants, plant products and other objects into and within the EU (Annex IV, Part A and Annex IV, Part B),
- plant health inspections of plants, plant products and other objects before their introduction into the EU (Annex V, Part B).
These lists are changing and should, therefore, be checked in the consolidated text of the Directive.
Customs authorities along with other official bodies control the introduction of plants, plant products and other objects into the Community, and thus contribute to the realisation of health plant protection. Inspections are performed by inspectors of the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection (herein referred to as: the UVHVVR). Consignments which are subject to mandatory plant health checks can be introduced from third countries into the EU only at specific entry points which are equipped with the facilities necessary for the performance of customs checks and inspections by the UVHVVR. Such points of entry are in Koper – the Port of Koper, Ljubljana – Jože Pučnik Airport and Post Office Ljubljana. In cases in which there is no risk of spreading harmful organisms, identity and plant health checks of the consignments can be performed at officially designated places within the country or in another Member State.
Insofar as this is provided for in the provisions on plant health protection, consignments of agricultural seeds material or of forest reproductive material can be inspected under customs supervision at officially designated places within the country.
Customs authorities may initiate the procedure for release of goods for a customs-approved treatment or use, with the exception of transit, only after a UVHVVR inspector has performed plant health checks of consignments of plants, plant products and other objects listed in Annex V, Part B of the Directive, or of consignments of agricultural seeds material and forest reproductive material and permits the introduction of the mentioned goods into the EU on the basis of a decision.
- Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community