New EU legislation – Emergency measures concerning the spread within the EU of Xylella fastidiosa

The EU has recently published Commission Decision 2014/497/EU, which will amend the currently applicable emergency measures concerning the spread within the EU of Xylella fastidiosa (Well and Raju). As a regulated quarantine pest, this organism is banned from being introduced into the EU and the spread of this harmful organism in EU Member States is also prohibited.

Below is a link to the new EU legislation:

Short description of the main requirements introduced by this new legislation:

  • Updated list of plants concerned by the measures: plants for planting, other than seeds:  Catharanthus G. Don, Nerium L., Vinca L., Malva L., Portulaca L., Olea L., Prunus L., Quercus L. and Sorghum L.

·         Import of the concerned plants into the EU from third countries can take place if:

  •  accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, which includes declaration confirming that the plants have been grown in a pest-free area supervised by the national plant protection authority; psychically protected  from the introduction of Xylella fastidiosa; inspected before the export; etc.
  •  Inspected by the responsible body when importing into the EU for the presence of Xylella fastidiosa
  • neither presence nor symptoms of Xylella fastidiosa have been found as a result of the inspection

·         Movement of the concerned plants within the EU:

  • The plants which have been grown for at least part of their life in a demarcated area shall only be moved to and within areas other than infected zones if they are accompanied by a plant passport prepared and issued in accordance with Commission Directive 92/105/EEC

For more detailed information on the special measures see the Commission Decision 2014/497/EU.

These new emergency measures came into force on 25 July 2014.


  • In October 2013, Italian authorities informed the European Commission of the presence of Xylella fastidiosa in their country (province of Lecce, in the Apulia region). The presence of the specified organism was confirmed in respect of several plants species, including Olea europaea L., Prunus amygdalus Batsch, Nerium oleander L. and Quercus sp. L. showing leaf scorching and rapid decline symptoms. This is the first time the presence of the specified organism in the territory of the European Union has been established.
  • In November 2013, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued its statement on host plants, entry and spread pathways and risk reduction options for Xylella fastidiosa.

Link to the statement:

·         The European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office performed an audit in Italy from 10 to 14 February 2014, assessing the situation concerning the presence of Xylella fastidiosa. The findings were not so positive and the audit team issued 10 recommendations to the Competent Authorities.

Link to the report:

·         In February 2014, the EU adopted the Commission Implementing Decision 2014/87/EU of 13 February 2014 as regards measures to prevent the spread within the Union of Xylella fastidiosa:

  • The new Commission Decision 2014/497/EU repeals Decision 2014/87/EU.


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