FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
|Unlike animal products, certification
of plants and plant products is not harmonized in the EU.
Phytosanitary certificates, issued by an APHIS inspector, are required to
accompany fruit, vegetable and nut shipments.
APHIS issues phytosanitary certificates in
accordance with the international regulations set down by the
Protection Convention of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations. This standard-setting body coordinate cooperation between
nations to control plant and plant product pests and to prevent their
In 2001, several large European retailers started EUREPGAP, a certification scheme that harmonizes third-party certification of fresh produce. Although there is no legal requirement, many retailers have begun requesting EUREPGAP certificates from fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers because of the quality guarantee they offer.
Council Directive 2000/29/EC contains
provisions concerning compulsory plant health checks. The checks
consist of documentary, identity and physical plant health checks to verify
compliance with EU import requirements. More information on
DG Health & Consumer Protection's website.
1756/2004 provides for plant health checks to be carried out at reduced
frequency where this can be justified. Starting September 1, 2005, EU
member states are authorized to reduce the frequency of inspections on
imports of U.S. apples (see
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