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Policy and Legislation

Plant health controls in Scotland are based on the EU Plant Health Regime. This is set out in the EU Plant Health Directive, 2000/29/EC and adopted into Scottish legislation through the Plant Health (Scotland) Order 2005. The Directive and Order set out detailed requirements for many plant species entering or moving within the Community and are regularly amended to keep these controls up to date.

Fees for various plant health services are also set out in legislation.

Please use the links on the right to access the main plant health legislation. Amendments can be found by using the Office of Public Service Information website, (UK legislation) or EUR-Lex (EU legislation).

Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain

The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain provides a high level overview of the work we are doing to improve plant biosecurity with Defra and Wales.  It recognises that threats to plant biosecurity have increased following the long-term trend of increasing volume and speed of movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. The Plant Health Services have been working to tackle these threats for many years.

The GB strategy has been developed in consultation with stakeholders and details how this activity will meet the recommendations of the Independent Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce

The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain provides the overarching framework for the Scottish Plant Health Strategy.

Plant Health Risk Group

The Plant Health Risk Group is a UK-wide Cross-Government department group that meets on a monthly basis to review threats to plant health. The group identifies and sets priorities for action to aid in the mitigation of these identified risks and feeds into the Plant Health Risk Register. A summary of the groups progress will be reported quarterly.

Plant Health Risk Register

The Plant Health Risk Register is a major step in implementing the recommendations of the independent Task Force on Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity. It is a tool for government, industry and stakeholders to prioritise action against pests and diseases which threaten our crops, trees, gardens and countryside.  More information on the plant health risk register was sent to UK Stakeholders.

A research project has been commissioned to inform Scotland's priorities in relation to plant health (September 2016).  Abstract: Prioritising actions to protect Scottish plant health requires robust evidence on the value of plants at risk.  This research will set out economic, social and environemntal values of Scotland's plants to build on the work of the UK Plant Health Risk Register and help set Scottish specific priorities.

Pest Risk Analysis

The decision on the level of controls that should be put in place for a particular pest is taken on the basis of a "Pest Risk Analysis" or PRA. PRAs may range from a simple expert judgement ("tropical insect, no host plants in Europe, no risk") to a detailed scientific review which attempts to put figures on the risks, and the costs and benefits of different ways of managing those risks. Under international trade rules any measures which regulate imports must be justified by a PRA written according to international standards.

In the UK, PRAs are normally produced by Fera, with input from Forest Research and SASA as appropriate. Stakeholders who may be affected by the pest have the opportunity to comment on new PRAs. Further information and the list of current PRAs is available from the link on the left.