ACTIVITIES OF THE PLANT HEALTH AND MARKETING STANDARDS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS SECTOR (PHMSAP)
The Plant Health and Marketing Standards of Agricultural Products Sector is a newly formed Sector of the Department of Agriculture under the Division of Legislation.
To this end, its main responsibility is the monitoring of the implementation of a series of legislations regarding phytosanitary control of plants and plant products, marketing requirements for seeds and plant propagating material, marketing standards of agricultural products which include fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, poultry, eggs for hatching, poultry chicks, and classification requirements for beef, pig and sheep carcasses. In addition, it is monitoring the implementation of the legislation relevant to the controls of food of non animal origin at the primary level and the production and marketing of industrial hemp.
The PHMSAP is also involved in the preparation, revision/amendment of national legislation at the above mentioned subjects as well as in the preparation of relevant annual and multiannual national control programs, the preparation of guidelines to the inspectors, of Action Plans and also for providing support and training to the inspectors.
1. As regards phytosanitary legislation,
The Sector has the responsibility of:
a) The Measures for the Protection against the Import and Distribution of Harmful Organisms to Plants and Plant Products Law of 2003 until 2012.
Plant health is very important for agriculture, forestry, natural ecosystems and in general the biodiversity in the European Union. Plant health is threatened by organisms harmful to plants and plant products and the adoption of strict measures to prevent their introduction, spread and establishment in our territory is necessary. It requires the implementation of adequate and efficient control measures on imported, exported plants and plant products and agricultural products locally produced and traded within the European Union. It also requires the Competent Authorities to maintain an Official Registry of all involved establishments and the issuance of relevant certificates and other official attestations for verification of compliance.
2. As regards Seed and Plant Propagating Material legislation,
This Sector has the responsibility of:
The aim of the Seed legislation is the control of the production with a view to marketing and the marketing of seeds of specified species of cereal, fodder plants, oil and fibre plants and vegetables. In general, seeds must belong to a variety registered to the National or to the Common Catalogue of varieties, must be clear from any inert matter or seeds of other plant species and must have a sufficient germination capacity.
Seeds are placed on the market in closed and sealed packages bearing an official label or in the case of vegetables a suppliers label. Seeds are produced by licensed Seed Production Companies and placed on the market only by licensed seed sellers.
The scope of plant propagating material legislation (fruit plants, ornamentals, vine, vegetable propagating and planting material other than seeds and potato seed) is the control of the production and marketing of propagating material, which must be healthy, of good quality and true to type and identity of the variety. The Legislation provides for the registration of suppliers in the Register of Suppliers and the issuance of the relevant licence.
The sector is also responsible for the registration of varieties of Seeds and Plant Propagating Material to the relevant National Catalogues of Varieties.
3. As regards marketing standards of agricultural products legislations,
The Sector has the responsibility of:
a) The Quality Control of Agricultural Products Law of 2002 until 2007 (Ν.129(Ι)/2002).
b) The Marketing Standards for Eggs Law 2016 (N.103(I)/2016).
c) The Application of Standards for the Production, Classification, Labeling and Marketing of Poultry Meat Law of 2004 (N.280(I)/2004).
d) The Production and Use of Eggs for Hatching and Poultry Chicks Law of 2004 (N.281(I)/2004).
e) The Classification of Adult Bovine Animals, Swine and Sheep Carcasses and the Reporting of Market Prices Law of 2006 (N.81(I)/2006).
The above mentioned legislations include provisions for the monitoring of the marketing standards of fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, poultry meat, eggs for hatching and poultry chicks at the production and retail level as well as provisions for the classification of beef, pig and sheep carcasses at the production level.
The aim of these legal provisions is to ensure uniform and harmonized quality characteristics and labeling information of these products to enhance traceability, transparency, fairness, consistency and avoid fraudulent or deceptive practices.
4. As regards the production and marketing of industrial hemp legislation,
This Sector has the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of:
a) The Production and Marketing of Industrial Hemp Law of 2016 [Ν.61(Ι)/2016].
The law regulates the production and marketing of whole plants or part of plants or seeds of the species Cannabis sativa whose concentration in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not exceed 0,2%.
Within the framework of legislation licenses for producers or/and suppliers of industrial hemp are issued according to defined terms.
The licensed producer of industrial hemp is obligated to inform the Competent Authority for:
(a) Any industrial hemp seeds he may have in his possession,
(b) His intention to cultivate industrial hemp,
(c) The completion of sowing,
(d) His intention to harvest and the completion of harvesting which take place only after Competent Authority’s authorization, and
(e) The quantity of industrial hemp produced.