EU plant health law: 16 out of the 20 priority pests are insects

On 11th October 2019, the European Commission has published the list of regulated quarantine pests which are considered top priorities for EU Member States due to the economic, environmental and social impact on EU’s territory. The list is based on the impact assessments carried out by EFSA and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on a number of pests identified by the Commission. Some of the criteria considered are the impact on crop yields, the damage to trade and the cost of control measures, as well as social consequences and environmental impact.

For each of the listed pests, EU Member States will be required to carry out annual surveys, draw up and keep up to date a contingency plan, perform simulation exercises, launch information campaigns to the public and action plans for the eradication of these pests, when already present on their territory. In this contest, the diagnostic competence of the National Reference Laboratories network is of paramount importance.

It is significant to point out that 16 out of the 20 priority pests are insects! Among them, we find species that have already been reported in some Member States, such as the longhorned beetles Anoplophora glabripennis, A. chinensis and Aromia bungii, the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis and the japanese beetle Popillia japonica, but also Agrilus planipennis, Spodoptera frugiperda and Bactrocera zonata, that are still outside Europe's borders. All the cited pests are already present in the working plan of the EURL and the Proficiency Tests on Spodoptera frugiperda (for which registrations are open) are an example of the support that the EURL aims to provide to National Reference Laboratories.  


Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1702