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Food Safety

Plant health and biosecurity

Healthy plants are vital to sustainable agricultural and horticultural production. Without them we would not be able to enjoy green spaces, forests and natural landscapes.


EU actions for plant health

EU rules on plant health aim to protect crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ornamentals and forests from harmful pests and diseases (quarantine pests) by preventing their introduction into the EU or their spread within the EU.
The EU has common rules for:

The EU also provides funding to Member States facing an outbreak.

International cooperation

Plants are traded internationally and pests and diseases know no borders. The EU is a member of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) where it actively takes part in the setting of international quality standards for plants and plant products.

International Year of Plant Health 2020

The UN has proclaimed 2020 the first-ever international year of plant health to raise awareness of the major roles plants play in most areas of our lives – food, clothing, energy, and many others. An international conference on plant health co-financed by the EU will take place in Helsinki in July 2021.

Watch this video to learn more about EU actions to protect plant health.

Related links

Further information

Expert groups and working groups

Meetings of the "Expert Group on Plant Health Legislation" and the "Working Group meetings on Plant Health"

Harmful organisms outbreaks in the EU

All EU countries are required to notify the European Commission and other EU countries of the presence of harmful organisms on their territory, and...

Protected zones

Each protected zone is defined in relation to a particular harmful organism. The relevant EU country must ensure that the harmful organism(s) remain...

Trade in plants and plant products within the EU

EU plant health rules cover the movement and trade within the EU of certain plants, plant products and other objects which are potential carriers of...