With the entry in force of the new Plant Health Ordinance (PGesV), from 1 January 2020, particularly dangerous harmful organisms (PDHOs) are assigned, according to objective criteria, to three different main categories:
Quarantine pest are PDHOs with potential economic implications, which either do not occur, or only occur locally, in Switzerland. These organisms are subject to a general ‘notification and control’ obligation in Switzerland: the fire bacterium (Xylella fastidiosa) and Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) are two examples of organisms falling into this category.
This category includes PDHOs which are already common in Switzerland, but which do not yet occur in certain areas where they could, however, cause major damage. Protected zone quarantine pests have quarantine organism status only in the protected zones defined for them, but not in the rest of Switzerland. At present, only fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) is designated a protected zone quarantine pest in Switzerland, and it is only in the Valais that this harmful organism has quarantine status.
Regulated non-quarantine pests are PDHOs that are widespread in Switzerland, which are spread primarily via specific host plants intended for planting. Owing to their pervasiveness, they do not – or do not any longer – meet the criteria for quarantine pests. However, since their occurrence in planting stock carries a high potential for damage, phytosanitary measures are being taken with respect to the marketing of healthy propagation material – for example, the Sharka virus (plum pox virus) and the pathogen of apple proliferation (Candidatus Phytoplasma mali) are considered to be regulated non-quarantine pests.