Soccer World Cup in Qatar: Help not to introduce dangerous plant diseases or pests

| Plant Protection Service Control

However, visitors to the World Cup in Qatar should note that not all goods may be taken to Austria or the European Union (EU) without hesitation.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the first time in history that an Arab country will host the event from November 20 to the final on December 18. In addition to the soccer fever, the pleasantly warm temperatures during this time also entice visitors to take a short vacation on the Arabian peninsula. An exotic gift and souvenir for family and friends is quickly found at the traditional markets. In addition to Arabian spices, sweet delicacies, special handicrafts and clothing, there are of course also exotic fruits and vegetables. Here, however, it is important to note that not all goods may be taken into Austria or the European Union (EU) without hesitation.

Help us to keep our plants pest-free!

You too can help prevent the introduction of plant pests and diseases into the EU. Inform yourself in time at the official plant protection service about phytosanitary regulations when bringing plants and plant products into the EU:

  1. Dried dates, pistachios or other nuts are a popular souvenir from the Arab region.

Fresh pistachios, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, etc., which are still in the green (fruit) shell, are subject to phytosanitary import regulations.

The fruits of the date palm(Phoenix dactylifera), whether dried or fresh, may be taken without hesitation from a phytosanitary point of view - along with pineapple, banana, coconut and durian, the date is one of the five fruits that may be imported without a phytosanitary certificate and phytosanitary import control. Dried and roasted nuts (e.g. pistachios etc.) are also not subject to special phytosanitary import regulations.

  1. The date palm plant itself, on the other hand, is subject to strict phytosanitary import regulations; there is even an import ban from Algeria and Morocco, which also affects the plant parts (palm fronds).

The palm is considered a host plant forthe bacterium Xylella fastidiosa . This bacterium colonizes the vascular bundles of plants, blocking water and nutrient transport. The result: the plant dries up and dies. The bacterium is transmitted by xylem-sucking insects. Measures to protect against the introduction and spread of X. fastidiosa therefore include rigorous regulations and import bans on host plants from infested areas.

In general, for all live plants and seeds, as well as fresh plant products (such as cut flowers, plant parts, vegetables and fruits, etc.), phytosanitary import regulations must be observed. These must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate upon importation and are subject to official inspections. In the case of live plants, very specific import regulations often have to be fulfilled, about which information should in any case be obtained in advance.

Protection of domestic agriculture against plant pests and plant diseases!

These import regulations ensure that no foreign plant pests or plant diseases are introduced into the EU and endanger our domestic agricultural crops and plant diversity. In order to avoid possible difficulties on the return journey, it is advisable to inform yourself before thephytosanitary regulations before departure. Without a valid phytosanitary certificate and registration of the goods for phytosanitary control, the plant souvenirs will be confiscated by customs and disposed of according to regulations.

In addition to the phytosanitary import regulations, species protection or foodstuff regulations may also apply to the import of plants, plant parts and plant products. Here you should additionally inform yourself in advance at www.cites.atand further information.

Details on phytosanitary import regulations can be found in our frequently asked questions (FAQ) as well as further information on plant pests and diseases under the following links:

If you have any questions concerning phytosanitary import regulations and the procedure of phytosanitary import control, the team of the Official Plant Protection Service is at your disposal for advice under the contact options below:

Official Plant Protection Service Spargelfeldstraße 1911220 Vienna, Austria Tel.: +43 (0)5 0555-33302 / 33324 E-mail:

This page has been translated using translation software.
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