As required under the EU Plant Health Regulation, the European Commission has carried out a review of regulations introduced by Defra, including requirements on Xylella and plane canker.
An Implementing Act has been published with their conclusions, including that the Defra regulations should be amended in relation to these pests.
The UK disagrees with the conclusions and are disappointed that the opportunity has not been taken to extend the UK measures across the EU, providing enhanced protections for the EU’s member states.
The biosecurity threat regarding these pests has not changed and therefore the reason for introducing stronger requirements has not changed.
We continue to encourage stakeholders and industry to employ risk management practices which maintain the robust protection and assurance that the Defra regulations provide.
APHA and the Devolved Administrations will continue to carry out intensive inspections of imported plants, taking account of risk factors such as origin, presence of insect vectors, suspect symptoms etc.
The implications of a confirmed finding of Xylella are substantial, including felling of plants within a 100m radius and trade restrictions across a 5km radius. A finding of plane canker would also cause substantial impacts.
We will keep the need for any further actions under review in light of the ongoing risk situation, including developments in the EU and the results of our own surveillance.