`UK Publishes New Guidelines on Plant Imports to Stem Xylella Risk - Olive Oil Times

UK Publishes New Guidelines on Plant Imports to Stem Xylella Risk

May. 25, 2020
Julie Al-Zoubi

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The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued new guide­lines on bring­ing olive and almond plants into the UK. The new rules were intro­duced to pre­vent Xylella fas­tidiosa from enter­ing the coun­try and apply to plants imported from both E.U.-member states and non-EU coun­tries.

See Also:Xylella Fastidiosa Updates

The new reg­u­la­tions pub­lished on the GOV.UK web­site requires that imported olive and almond plants meet spe­cific cri­te­ria relat­ing to pro­duc­tion, inspec­tions and label­ing.

Plants imported from the E.U. will need to state their place of pro­duc­tion and inspec­tion details in addi­tion to the com­pul­sory attached plant pass­port. Imported plants from non-European coun­tries are required to state the place of pro­duc­tion and inspec­tion details on a phy­tosan­i­tary cer­tifi­cate.

Readable, undam­aged, and tam­per-proof labels or plant pass­ports detail­ing the place of pro­duc­tion must be on the plant’s con­tainer and the place of pro­duc­tion must be ver­i­fied by an offi­cial from the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) who is required to stamp the label accord­ingly and pro­vide a signed let­ter.

Only olive and almond trees orig­i­nat­ing from an approved list of reg­is­tered pro­duc­tion places (where they must have grown for at least a year) may be imported into the UK.


Confirmation is required that a plan­t’s place of pro­duc­tion and its 200-meter sur­round­ing area has been Xylella-free for one year before the plant is imported.

NPPO reg­is­tered lab­o­ra­to­ries are required to test plants dur­ing active growth and when adult vec­tors are present. The plants must have offi­cial annual inspec­tions car­ried out at their reg­is­tered place of pro­duc­tion by a com­pe­tent author­ity using a 99 per­cent reli­able sam­pling scheme.

Plants must be inspected for Xylella prior to being moved from their reg­is­tered place of pro­duc­tion and may need a sec­ond test prior to being exported. (The sec­ond test will be at the dis­cre­tion of NPPO offi­cials.)

Any plant dis­play­ing symp­toms must be offi­cially tested for Xylella accord­ing to agreed inter­na­tional stan­dards. All plants orig­i­nat­ing from areas where Xylella has struck must be entirely phys­i­cally pro­tected for four years prior to export.

Earlier this year Dame Helen Mirren lent her sup­port to the U.K.‘s efforts to keep the deadly plant dis­ease out of the coun­try by nar­rat­ing a Xylella fas­tidiosa pre­ven­tion video.

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