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Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) legislation update

New EU emergency measures (Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/1191) came into force on the 15th August 2020 to prevent the introduction into and spread within the EU of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV). This replaces the previous emergency measures (Implementing Decision 2019/1615). This regulation represents a significant strengthening of the previous measures.

The regulation prohibits the introduction into, movement within, holding, multiplication and release of ToBRFV within the EU territory. The regulation also sets out requirements for the import and movement of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Capsicum spp. (pepper) into and within the EU, extending the scope of the regulation from just Capsicum annuum to all Capsicum spp. (other than resistant varieties). These requirements are summarised below.

Movement within the EU

Plants for planting of S. lycopersicum and Capsicum spp. (other than resistant varieties) can only be moved within the EU if they meet the following conditions:

  • the plants have been grown in a production site where ToBRFV is known not to occur, on the basis of official inspections carried out at the appropriate time to detect ToBRFV, and, where plants are displaying symptoms of ToBRFV, these plants have been subjected to sampling and testing by the competent authority, and these tests have shown them to be free of ToBRFV; and

 

  • the lots of the plants have been kept separate from other lots of the plants by applying appropriate hygiene measures and physical separation.

It should be noted that these conditions do not apply to those plants produced in accordance with Implementing Decision 2019/1615.

Seeds of S. lycopersicum and Capsicum spp. (other than resistant varieties) can only be moved within the EU if they meet the following conditions:

  • their mother plants have been produced in a production site where ToBRFV is known not to occur, on the basis of official inspections carried out at the appropriate time to detect ToBRFV; and

 

  • they or their mother plants have undergone sampling and testing for ToBRFV by the competent authority, or have been subjected to sampling and testing by professional operators under official supervision of the competent authority, and have been found, according to those tests, to be free from ToBRFV (Where ToBRFV is suspected, sampling and testing must be done by the competent authority); and

 

  • the origin of all lots of seeds are recorded and documented.

As an alternative, seeds which were still in storage prior to 15 August 2020 can be sampled and tested for ToBRFV by the competent authority or by professional operators under official supervision of the competent authority, before being moved within the EU and found free from ToBRFV.

Introduction into the EU

Plants for planting of S. lycopersicum and Capsicum spp. (other than resistant varieties) can only be introduced into the EU from third countries if they meet the following conditions:

  • have an official statement that the plants for planting derive from seeds which have undergone sampling and testing for ToBRFV, and these tests have shown them to be free from ToBRFV; and

 

  • have an official statement that the plants for planting have been produced in a production site which is registered and supervised by the national plant protection organisation in the country of origin and known to be free from ToBRFV on the basis of official inspections carried out at the appropriate time to detect ToBRFV, and, in case of symptoms, have undergone official sampling and testing for ToBRFV and have been found, according to those tests, to be free from ToBRFV; and

 

  • have the name of the registered production site along with the phytosanitary certificate.

Seeds of S. lycopersicum and Capsicum spp. (other than resistant varieties) can only be introduced into the EU from third countries if they meet the following conditions:

  • have an official statement that the mother plants of the seeds concerned have been produced in a production site where ToBRFV is known not to occur, on the basis of official inspections carried out at the appropriate time to detect ToBRFV; and

 

  • have an official statement that the seeds concerned or their mother plants have undergone official sampling and testing for ToBRFV and have been found, according to those tests, to be free from ToBRFV; and

 

  • have the name of the registered production site along with the phytosanitary certificate.

Seed and plant sampling and testing

Detailed sampling and testing regimes that must be carried out to meet the import requirements are provided in the annexes of the regulation.

The full regulation can be found here - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2020.262.01.0006.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2020:262:TOC.