The aim of the Regulation is to protect the EU agriculture and forestry, biological diversity and ecosystem preventing introduction and spread of pests in the EU territory.
The long discussions at EU Council have led to a compromise on the import systems of plants and plant products enclosed in the Regulation. The consensus was reached that import should be based on risk assessment and preventive measures. The import of certain plants and plant products into the EU should be prohibited on the basis of a preliminary risk assessment that is carried out in accordance with the criteria set in the Regulation in cases when there is a risk of spread of pests and when the risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by applying phytosanitary measures.
Currently, it is difficult to trace back plants and plant products at the market to identify the producers. Plant passports are issued differently and the information is written in free format and in the national language of the Member State. The draft Regulation provides harmonised plant passport system and implements the traceability obligations.
The Regulation provides additional protective measures for pest free territories (protected zones).
The work on the new Regulation was started in 2013 by the EU Council Working Party on Plant Health: Protection and Inspection, and the Latvian Presidency has reached a conceptual agreement on its text.