Directorate of Plant Protection and Soil Conservation
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Directorate of Plant Protection and Soil Conservation

Due to the predominant role of agriculture in Hungary’s economy, national plant protection policy and institutions have been developed gradually since 1760. The establishment of the regional plant protection services in 1954 – the original structure of today’s Directorate – was another important milestone and the special higher education programme for plant protection experts started in 1960. In 2007 by merging the background institutes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development into one single institution, the Government Decree 274/2006 establishing the Agricultural Office (hereinafter: AO) designated the AO, among others, as the plant protection and soil conservation competent authority.

In accordance to the relevant European legislation, the primary objective of the Directorate of Plant Protection and Soil Conservation (hereinafter: Directorate) is to increase the efficiency of production and market control, using the most appropriate controlling priorities and methods. The Directorate is also responsible for the nation-wide co-ordination of plant protection and plant health control and the continuous further education of its experts. Other fields of the Directorate’s activities are: adequate information of producers and sellers, related publications and articles and the management of an updated database system.

Strategic aims

  • Plant protection
    • Efficient agricultural production, assuring the safety of food consumers.

    • Fight against the black economy 

    • Diminution of damages resulting from the improper use of plant protection products (hereinafter: PPPs)

    • Protection of plant-stocks

  • Plant health, anti-epidemic measures
    • Contribution to the maintenance of the Food Chain Safety System

    • Fight against non-domestic harmful organisms in line with EU-harmonized  methods

    • Production and trade of healthy propagation materials

    • Efficient export-import control

  • Control of products and guarantee of transparent market
  • Authorization of plant protection products and yield enhancing substances
  • Soil conservation

The structure of the Directorate

Department of Plant Protection, incl. the coordination of Analytical network of PPPs and Pest Management, Department of Phytosanitary Measures, Department of Quality Control of Fruits and Vegetables, Central Laboratory of Pest Diagnostics, Department of Authorisation, Department of Evaluation, Department of Soil Conservation.

Scope and competence

Department of Plant Protection

  • acts as second instance authority of plant protection in cases related to
    • control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia,
    • pesticide residues,
    • PPP marketing,
    • PPP use,
    • checks of pest management programmes,
    • checks of commercial holdings,
  • issues the certificate necessary for plant protection activity to be carried out in other member state (hereinafter: MS) of the European Economic Area,
  • takes part in the renewal of the annual statistical data supply and in preparing the relevant report,
  • takes part in making statistics on PPPs according to the guidelines of the European Commission,
  • takes part in coordinating the detection survey of quarantine pests causing important economic damages and of dangerous pests; in planning and carrying out laboratory and field trials aiming at prevention of their spread, development, implementation and checks of environmentally-friendly techniques to control them (based on the principles of Good Agricultural Practice /GAP/ and integrated pest management /IPM/), specified in international obligations, etc.

Department of Phytosanitary Measures

  • coordinates and controls the work of the county Directorates and the Border Inspection Posts (hereinafter: BIPs),
  • takes part in the improvement of phytosanitary surveillance, with particular attention to the quarantine pests living under good ecological conditions in Hungary,
  • coordinates the official plant health inspections, the diagnostics and handles, evaluates and summarizes the data, in cooperation with the county Directorates,
  • in cooperation with the diagnostic laboratory, it regularly up-dates the guidelines for phytosanitary methods and inspections used for the work of plant protection inspectors,
  • takes part in the activity of the working group for pest risk analyses (PRA),
  • makes comments on the documents, standards prepared by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), WTO-SPS and EU-legislation, prepares background information for the representation in the EU plant health working groups, committees and the Council,
  • in the frame of harmonization, it prepares draft legislation on plant health, correlation tables, technical justification, proposal for amending the phytosanitary part of the Ministerial Decrees,
  • works out plant health inspections for fruit certification scheme and coordinates the testings, etc.

Department of Quality Control of Fruits and Vegetables

  • compiles control schedule and target scheme, checkings, management of control system based on risk evaluation and checks of inspectors,
  • informs the traders on the amendments to legislation,
  • export-import controls of fruit and vegetable consignments with the tax authority,
  • controls the export of food of non-animal origin,
  • takes part in legislation and standardisation,
  • under his reporting obligation, prepares the annual reports, the report for the quarter of the year, on the quality of commodities introduced from an EU-agreed third country, the weekly report on the products intercepted during the control of domestic distributors and on the quality of commodities, etc.

Central Laboratory of Pest Diagnostics

  • runs laboratories to take administrative measures (Laboratory of Virology, Laboratory of Mycology, Laboratory of Nematology, Laboratory of Entomology);
  • performs laboratory testing of pest diagnostics (microscopy, PCR, ELISA, etc.) to make plant health measures (to issue plant passport, testing and checking laboratory samples of import and transit commodities and propagating materials coming from third countries to Hungary),
  • diagnostic tests necessary for advisory service and makes expert’s opinions,
  • adapts phytosanitary test methods acknowledged by the EU and other international organisations in order to detect quarantine pests,
  • provides technical knowledge and information for detecting pests specified in legislation, diagnostic tests for pest identification, processes the results, makes reports and issues recommendations for phytosanitary measures,
  • takes part in the PRA Working Group by working out PRAs,
  • manages trainings mainly on the detection of pests (symptoms, pests preparation for testing) for diagnosticians and plant protection inspectors,
  • prepares background information for the representation in the EU plant health working groups, committees and the Council, etc.

Department of Authorisation

  • grants authorisation for: 

    • experimental use of PPPs,

    • field trials carried out with PPPs not authorised and for demonstration and provision of information on test results,

    • placing on the market and use of PPPs,

  • issues emergency use permit for PPPs,
  • runs the archives for the authorisation documentation,
  • manages reception and storage of documents, their submission to other responsible bodies,
  • grants authorisation for placing on the market and use of products of plant protection effect not qualified as plant protection products, equipment and materials used for plant protection purposes and macro-organisms,
  • issues permits based on mutual recognition of data,
  • authorises off-label use of PPPs,
  • authorises parallel import of PPPs,
  • recording notifications reg. manufacturing, formulating, packaging of PPPs,
  • meets his reporting obligations to the European Commission and the MSs,

Department of Evaluation

  • participates in the procedure of EU authorisation of active substances,
  • evaluation of active substances, EU legislation based obligation in Hungary
  • if requested, proceeding EU authorisation of new active substances,
  • summarizes, analyzes and evaluates results of efficacy and residue trials carried out with PPPs and yield enhancing substances, prepares expert’s opinions, and prepares the registration documents for decision-making.

Department of Soil Conservation

  • acts as second instance authority and (in case of special provisions of legislation) first instance authority, as well as official responsible body,

  • issues guidance, guidelines and statements necessary for establishing and harmonising the soil conservation procedures,

  • takes part in legislative work and amendments to legal instruments concerning soil conservation,

  • organises regular tests on competence for the soil and fertiliser testing laboratories in order to maintain accreditation status,

  • reviews the nitrate sensitive areas, evaluates the action programmes and prepares the country report on nitrate for the European Commission,

  • receives, stores, summarises and evaluates annual data on the agricultural use of waste waters and sewage sludge and provides data to the competent authority for environment, etc.

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