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Plant health controls in Israel

1 August 2018

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission in Israel from 6 to 15 March 2018.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the system of official plant health controls for the export of plants, plant products and plants intended for planting to the European Union (EU).

There is a comprehensive, well-organised phytosanitary export inspection system in Israel, which ensures that most exported plants and plant products meet EU import requirements. The national plant protection organisation carries out inspections based on the systematically assessed plant health risk, uses the latest technologies, and maintains close working relations with stakeholders.

The inspection and certification system for the exported commodities is generally in line with EU requirements. However, shortcomings in particular in the sampling system for cut flowers for export have resulted in numerous EU interceptions with harmful organisms.

Although specific measures are applied for basil exported to the EU, those have not led to the reduction of EU interceptions. The national plant protection organisation has implemented a range of measures related to the production and inspection of citrus fruit, pomegranates, peaches and peppers exported to the EU with the objective of meeting new EU requirements for false codling moth. The applied systems approaches could efficiently reduce the risk of presence of this pest; however, there is no experience yet in the practical application.

EU interceptions and internal findings are always traced back sufficiently and appropriate corrective measures are applied. Shortcomings in the application of international standards on wood packaging material resulted in EU interceptions. The report contains recommendations to the National Plant Protection Organisation of Israel to address the shortcomings identified.

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