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Harmful Organisms - Introduction
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The aim of the Community plant health regime is to prevent the introduction into the community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products or their spread within the Community.

The Community plant health regime is established by Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The general principles are based upon provisions laid down in the International Plant Protection Convention concluded at the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organisation and, in the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Harmful organisms are defined as any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plants products.

Plants are defined as any living plants and specified living parts thereof, including seeds (other than grain). Living parts of plants include fruits, in the botanical sense, other than that preserved by deep freezing, vegetables other than preserved by deep freezing, tubers, corms, bulbs, rhizomes, cut flowers, branches with foliage, cut trees retaining foliage, leaves, foliage, plant tissue cultures, live pollen, bud-wood, cuttings, scions and any other parts of plants which may be specified in accordance with the procedure of the Standing Committee on Plant Health.

Plant products are defined as products of plant origin, unprocessed or having undergone simple preparation, in so far as these are not plants.

In order to meet the above aim, rights and obligations are placed upon Member States to regulate the movement of plants or plant products within their territory and to regulate the introduction of plants or plant products into the Community from third countries. Obligations are placed upon third countries which want to export plants or plant products to the Community.