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Protection against plant pests



Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on protective measures against pests of plants


It aims to help fight plant pests and diseases, as part of the EU Plant Health Regime, with more effective measures to protect the EU and its plants, ensuring safe trade and mitigating the impact of climate change, including:

  • better protection of landscapes, forests and other green spaces, reduced need for pesticides;
  • simpler and more transparent documentation for growers and farmers, better protection for crops;
  • financial support for surveillance, eradication and containment.


  • Plant health is threatened by species injurious to plants and plant products which present a greater risk of being introduced into the EU owing to globalisation of trade and climate change. The regulation establishes action to determine the risk posed by these pests and to reduce the risks to an acceptable level through phytosanitary measures*.

Quarantine pests

Criteria are set out to identify quarantine pests which must be prevented from being introduced into and must not be allowed to spread through the EU. Protected zone quarantine pests are those for which control is needed in only parts of the EU.

Priority pests

  • Priority pests are those whose potential economic, environmental or social impact is the most severe for the EU. Special provisions apply to priority pests, in particular, better public information, surveys, contingency plans, simulation exercises, action plans for eradication and co-financing of EU action.
  • Each EU country draws up a plan for each priority pest capable of entering into and becoming established in its territory, with information on the decision-making processes, procedures and protocols to be followed. Contingency plans are shared with the European Commission, other EU countries and relevant professionals through the internet. Simulation exercises are carried out depending on the level of risk posed.

Plant passports and phytosanitary certificates

  • The regulation establishes a system for the introduction and movement within the EU of plants and plant products and other material likely to be infected by harmful organisms (such as soil or other growing media) and to pose an unacceptable phytosanitary risk. The new rules extend, simplify and harmonise the existing plant passport scheme which is needed for all movements between professional operators inside the EU. They also require relevant professional operators to be registered to guarantee easier controls and better traceability.
  • Phytosanitary certificates, which confirm conformity with EU legislation are required for an extended range of plants, plant products or other material susceptible to infection.
  • A pre-export certificate is issued to ensure the exchange of information between EU countries where a plant, plant product or other object is moved through more than one EU country before it is exported outside the EU.


The regulation seeks to prevent pests being introduced into the EU. It provides risk-based and preventive measures to protect the EU from pests that a plant, plant product or other object originating outside the EU might introduce, based on a preliminary assessment of the risk.


It applies from 14 December 2019.


See also:


Phytosanitary measure: official measure having the purpose to prevent the introduction or spread of quarantine pests or to limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pests.


Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament of the Council of 26 October 2016 on protective measures against pests of plants, amending Regulations (EU) No 228/2013, (EU) No 652/2014 and (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directives 69/464/EEC, 74/647/EEC, 93/85/EEC, 98/57/EC, 2000/29/EC, 2006/91/EC and 2007/33/EC (OJ L 317, 23.11.2016, pp. 4-104)


Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, pp. 35-55)

Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material, amending Council Directives 98/56/EC, 2000/29/EC and 2008/90/EC, Regulations (EC) No 178/2002, (EC) No 882/2004 and (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Decisions 66/399/EEC, 76/894/EEC and 2009/470/EC (OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, pp. 1-32)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Regulation (EU) No 228/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2013 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 247/2006 (OJ L 78, 20.3.2013, pp. 23-40)

last update 12.07.2019