Over the last number of weeks, DAFM received reports from members of the public who received packets of seeds which they hadn’t ordered from countries outside of the EU. DAFM launched a social media campaign to raise awareness around this issue and ask members of the public to report these incidences to DAFM. To date, DAFM has received 33 seed packets from members of the public. The seed packages were marked as having originated in China, Vanuatu, Tonga, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, and Kyrgyzstan. These seeds have been identified and species have included rapeseed, bamboo, onion, red clover, pigweed, knotgrass, bluegrass, and pine. These seeds have been destroyed after identification. DAFM has advised the EU Commission of the situation and is engaging with the other Member States, the Commission, and other countries in relation to the seeds.

Under the EU Plant Health Regulation, all plants and plant products – including seeds – from outside of the EU should be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. This is to ensure the plants/seeds are not invasive species or contain any pests or diseases which would have an adverse impact on Ireland’s horticulture industry or its biodiversity. DAFM regularly perform checks on imported plants and plant products to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases into Ireland. These checks are conducted as part of DAFM’s Plant Health and Bio-security Strategy 2020- 2025.

For more information about this strategy please visit: www.agriculture.gov.ie/dontriskit/planthealthbio-securitystrategy/