Inspectorate and enforcement

One of the core functions of the Plant Protection Directorate (PPD) is the prevention of entry of harmful organisms in the territory of Malta and the EU. Much of this work is done through a system of inspections and enforcement action. 

It is for this reason that consignments that are imported from third countries are examined carefully, and a number of identity, physical, and documentation checks, are performed. For example, when a consignment of plants and plant products is suspected to be contaminated with a harmful organism, it is checked thoroughly to determine whether the whole consignment should be prohibited from entering the market. 

Physical inspections are also done in public, private and commercial establishments, such as orchards, gardens, public areas, open fields, greenhouses, nurseries, garden centres, etc. Samples are collected where necessary and sent for diagnosis and testing as may be the case. The PPD also performs inspections on the basis of reports by the public when the presence of quarantine pests or harmful organisms is suspected.

Much of the regulatory work of the PPD is done on the basis of what are known as Pest Risk Assessments, whereby potential for the introduction of new pests and diseases within the Maltese Islands is determined. This process also serves as a basis for the implementation of action plans and contingency plans for the control and/or eradication of pests and diseases.

Border Inspection Posts

One of the ways by which the PPD regulates the entry of plants and plant material into Malta in order to protect the health of plants, is through the establishment and operation of what are known as Border Inspection Posts. These are points of entry into the Maltese territory and serve as a site for the inspection and examination of plant material that is entering Malta.