Beware&Note: quarantine organisms harmful to plants

Quarantine organisms (or Q-organisms) are plant pests and pathogens that are not yet present in the EU, or are present but not widely distributed, and deemed by EU legislation as being harmful to plant health. Since these organisms can cause major economic and ecological damage, policy is aimed at preventing the introduction and further spread of such organisms. Rapid detection before the organism establishes can only be achieved by a continuous "surveillance" of the territory.

It is therefore very important that as many people as possible look out for these Q-species. We do not only focus on nature volunteers, but also on gardeners, students, scientists and professionals in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; in short: every citizen. Via this warning system, developed by the Research institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Natuurpunt Studie and PCS Ornamental Plant Research, and on behalf of the Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, reports of Q-organisms quickly reach the competent authorities and managers of forest and nature areas, agricultural fields and public spaces.

Here you can enter reports of Q-organisms, consult them or register on the alert system. You will also find identification sheets for the most important species via this portal. The focus is on Q-organisms that are relatively easy to identify (insects) or whose damage symptoms (fungi, bacteria, and viruses) are very typical and clearly recognisable. By no means all Q-organisms are covered here. For the selection of target species, we relied on the following lists of Q organisms:

  • European Union quarantine annex II list of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072
  • Several Commission Implementing Decisions (EU) (emergency measures) or Council Directives
  • EPPO A1 and A2 Lists of pests recommended for regulation as quarantine pests

A notification via this alert system may lead to the establishment of emergency measures. Alerts will only be sent out after verification by experts and after approval by the competent authorities. However, professional growers are obliged to contact the FASFC immediately if they suspect a quarantine organism (M.D. of 22/01/2004).

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