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Angra do Heroísmo ,  January 28, 2019

Government maintains control of flights from third countries to avoid phytosanitary risks

The Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry, through the Regional Directorate for Agriculture, maintains control of flights from third countries to the Azores in order to avoid phytosanitary risks by improper introduction of plants, vegetable products or other materials.
In order to comply with existing Community regulations on plant health issues concerning the minimisation of risks arising from the entry of goods from third countries through the airport, the health inspectors from the Regional Directorate for Agriculture were present last year at João Paulo II Airport on the arrival of 335 flights from third countries.
It was found that the highest number of interceptions occurred on flights from Cape Verde, followed by Canada and the United States of America.
In the case of Cape Verde, the intercepted products were mainly mangoes and other tropical fruits as well as various seeds (beans, corn, horticultural products and ornamental plants), bulbs and other vegetable propagating materials.
However, there was reduction in the number of interceptions in the last months of 2018 as a result of the contacts established with Cape Verde's plant health experts to raise travellers' awareness for the risks of importing plants and to disseminate information through posters placed at airports.
Cape Verdean authorities have been raising the awareness of travellers for the risks of plant movement and the restrictions on entry into the European Union, so as to avoid the risk of introducing illegal plants; the latter are seized and destroyed upon being detected.
The Phytosanitary Inspection services in the Azores counts on the collaboration of the officials from the Directorate General of Customs and Excise Taxes (Tax Authority) working at airports for the accomplishment of monitoring actions.
The introduction of plants, vegetable products or other materials from third countries may pose a risk to regional agriculture and forestry, as far as they may contain new harmful organisms (pests or diseases) with profoundly serious consequences.
The phytosanitary legislation in force aims to protect agriculture, forestry and the environment.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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