State Plant Protection Service has been established pursuant to Plant Protection Law adopted by Parliament (Saeima) 17 December 1998 as a state institution supervised by Ministry of Agriculture.
The Service performs official control and surveillance in the field of free movement of plant protection products, fertilizers, plants and plant products, plant varieties, seed and planting material, as well as collaborates with international organizations and provides the exchange of information with other countries on issues of plant protection, plant quarantine, movement of seeds and variety protection rights.
The 65th Session of EPPO Council took place in Riga from 15th-16th September 2015. It was preceded by meeting of the Executive Committee on the Monday and followed on the Thursday by a technical colloquium and field visit on plant protection in the forestry sector.
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Latvian Presidency reached a political agreement on new Plant Health Regulation
||Brussels, 30 June 2015. On 30 June, at the meeting of the European Union Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) the ambassadors of the Member States politically supported the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on protective measures against pests of plants. They gave the mandate to the Presidency to start the trialogue negotiations with the European Parliament.
The aim of the Regulation is to protect the EU agriculture and forestry, biological diversity and ecosystem preventing introduction and spread of pests in the EU territory.
The long discussions at EU Council have led to a compromise on the import systems of plants and plant products enclosed in the Regulation. The consensus was reached that import should be based on risk assessment and preventive measures. The import of certain plants and plant products into the EU should be prohibited on the basis of a preliminary risk assessment that is carried out in accordance with the criteria set in the Regulation in cases when there is a risk of spread of pests and when the risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by applying phytosanitary measures.
Currently, it is difficult to trace back plants and plant products at the market to identify the producers. Plant passports are issued differently and the information is written in free format and in the national language of the Member State. The draft Regulation provides harmonised plant passport system and implements the traceability obligations.
The Regulation provides additional protective measures for pest free territories (protected zones).
The work on the new Regulation was started in 2013 by the EU Council Working Party on Plant Health: Protection and Inspection, and the Latvian Presidency has reached a conceptual agreement on its text.
Riga meeting to discuss the certification of seed regulatory framework in EU Member States
||On 10-12 June 2015 under the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council, a meeting of seed certification agencies will take place in Riga, which will bring together the heads of the certification agencies from EU Member States, the EEA and the EFTA countries. The participants of the meeting will discuss the certification of seeds regulatory framework, thus enhancing a common understanding on implementation of European directives in the Member States.
The participants will discuss the results of the survey of member organisations on reliable labelling and traceability of the seed lots, the differences of the seed sampling procedure applied in the Member States, training and monitoring; also the issue of propagation of varieties for which an application for registration is already made but they are not yet included in the catalogue as well as other seed certification issues will be addressed.
"The issues which participants of the meeting in Riga will discuss, are profound and professional questions that are very important for the industry to create a common understanding of European directives in the Member States," says the State Plant Protection Service Director Kristine Kjago.
The participants of the meeting will visit the Latvia University of Agriculture training and research farm "Peterlauki" and get acquainted with varieties of rhododendrons bread by rhododendron breeding and testing nursery "Babīte" of the University of Latvia.
ESCAA is a seed certification association which brings together the seed certification authorities of the EU, the European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association Member States The main task of the organisation is the exchange of experience between the Member States on seed certification systems and the implementation of EU legislation. Meetings are held once a year in one of Member States.
EU Chief Officers of Plant Health Services disputed about actions when plant diseases spread
||Riga, 28 May 2015. The Informal Meeting of EU Chief Officers of Plant Health Services took place on 27-28 May under Latvian Presidency of the EU Council with 49 participants involved including five EU Commission representatives. Participants of the meeting discussed about the harmonisation of import control procedure and a common framework for action in the event of an outbreak of a plant disease, reducing the adverse impacts as far as possible.
In the meeting EU Commission presented 2014 overview of Member States detected pests on imported plants or plant products. The Commission also introduced with the overview about 2014, with data taken from EU common early warning system (EUROPHYT) on phytosanitary notifications and plant diseases outbreaks. The French expert presented information on new harmful bacteria for plants - mango and citrus pest. Information was provided about the pest distribution, its detection in specific Member States and containment measures. Participants discussed about plant health regulatory basis and made proposals for common recommendation development about actions in new pest distribution cases and experience exchange promotion between Member States.
During the technical visit to Latvian – German joint venture „Silu Kūdra” participants were introduced with the process how the peat is produced and prepared to export. Latvian plant quarantine experts introduced with Latvian experience in performing inspections and in issuing phytosanitary certificates for the export of peat.
EU Chief Officers of Plant Health Service (COPH) group take conceptual decisions and strategical issues in the field of plant quarantine. Meetings take place twice per year. The meeting is organized by each presidency. Meeting is chaired by the Commission. The representatives from Council of the EU participates in each meeting.