Great Britain introduces new Xylella measures for March 2021

xylella measures

The UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, released a statement on the 15th of February 2021, stating that new Xylella measures are to come into force on the 4th of March 2021. The new Xylella measures effectively amend the current Phytosanitary Controls Regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072), in order to address any risk and prevent the further spread of Xylella infections in Great Britain.

The proposed measures will apply nationwide and will be tailored to the current risks experienced, as well as the desired level of protection for UK’s plant health, with the objective to improve UK’s biosecurity.

Click here to access the full statement from Professor Nicola Spence (Chief Plant Health Officer for the UK).

xylella measures

Caption: Uprooted Xylella-infected olive tree | Image credits ©Canva

UK’s stricter new Xylella measures

The new Xylella measures which are to come into effect in March 2021 are based on the latest updates within the Pest Risk Analysis. According the UK’s Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs, the following changes were made to the existing measures on Xylella fastidiosa:

Only allow imports of Coffea (coffee) and Polygala from countries where Xylella is
known not to occur.” Source: (DEFRA, 2021)

”Introduce more stringent requirements for the import of Lavendula sp. (lavender),
Nerium oleander, Olea europaea (olive), Prunus dulcis (almond), and Rosmarinus
officinalis (rosemary) from countries where Xylella is known to occur. We will allow
imports under certain conditions including inspections of the place of production
and the surrounding area, testing, pe-export inspections and a one-year
quarantine period prior to import” Source: (DEFRA, 2021)

imported plants

Caption: Imported plants in a warehouse | Image credits ©Canva

Click here to access the copy of the full regulations which will come into effect on March 4th 2021.


Caption: Spittlebug on plant | Image credits ©Canva

Impact of new Xylella measures

So, what is the overall impact of the new Xylella measures which will come into effect in March 2021? They will:

  • reduce UK’s biosecurity risks posed by Xylella
  • prevent the potential spread of Xylella in the UK from imported plants
  • protect UK’s overall plant health and agriculture
  • prevent the pathogen from spreading further

These are just a few of the positive impacts of the new Xylella measures. However, not everyone is happy about the new rules coming into effect soon.

new xylella measures

Caption: Olive trees infected with the Xylella fastidiosa plant pathogen | Image credits ©Canva

One of the main concerns from the impacted stakeholders is that the information was shared in too little time. The new measures have not been disseminated with sufficient time for some stakeholders to implement new processes or adapt to the new conditions.

For instance, the regulation has impact on the international supply chain on plant imports (such as lavender, rosemary and other decorative plants as well). This could cause a series of inefficiencies and could even trigger job loss.

Above all, a shortage of young plants is expected in the UK once the regulation comes into effect in March 2021.

Are you impacted by the new regulation? Please let us know in the comments below and tell us if you are in favour or in opposition of the new Xylella measures.

Latest news on Xylella fastidiosa

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to read about the latest news on Xylella fastidiosa, new Xylella measures /legislation and industry insights. Start by reading the following articles below:

For a more comprehensive overview of the latest 2020 events around the topic of Xylella fastidiosa, check out this video below.

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