In a decree published in the Diário da República, the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development “establishes additional phytosanitary protection measures aimed at the eradication, in the national territory, of the quarantine insect 'Trioza erytreae Del Guercio'”, carrier “of the bacterium also from 'Candidatus liberibacter' quarantine, which causes one of the most serious diseases affecting citrus fruits”, also known as African psyche.

According to the new rules that come into force on Thursday, 18 June, "any owner, usufructuary or tenant of host vegetables, and any professional operator that produces or markets host plant material", having "knowledge or suspicion of the presence of the insect, must immediately inform the phytosanitary inspection services of the respective Regional Directorate for Agriculture and Fisheries (DRAP) or the Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV)”.

With measures aimed at those who are not "professional operators", the ordinance provides for "immediate cutting of the infested branches and destroying plant debris by fire, by crushing or burying it on site", if they detect "symptoms of trioza erytreae", by whereas, in the demarcated areas, the obligation is for “the grubbing up and destruction” of the host vegetables/fruits.

“Following the identification of the first outbreaks of 'Trioza erytreae' in the mainland of Portugal, in the region of Porto, as a result of the official surveys carried out annually, measures were immediately taken”, but “the dispersion of the insect verified in recent years leads to the need to establish additional measures”, is justified in the DR.

According to the decree, non-professional operators are still prohibited from “moving any plant or part of a host plant, except fruits and seeds, out of place”.

Non-professionals in the demarcated areas must also “carry out phytosanitary treatments with authorised plant protection products and whose list is available on the DGAV website”.

They must also “keep a record of the treatments carried out, namely of the products used, doses and dates of application”.

According to the decree, “the DRAPs, under the coordination of the DGAV, annually carry out a national survey, which must include phytosanitary protection measures, such as visual inspections, placement of traps to capture 'Trioza erytreae' and sample collection”, namely in orchards, vegetable gardens, gardens, parks and public areas where there are host vegetables/fruits.

In case of official confirmation of the presence of 'Trioza erytreae Del Guercio', “a demarcated area is immediately defined, formed by the parish where the insects were detected, considered an infested area, and by a buffer zone surrounding three kilometres in radius, established from the boundaries of the infested parishes”.

Professional operators, namely producers and suppliers of host plants, whose place of activity is covered by a demarcated area, can only sell or dispatch host plants if certain conditions are met.

According to the decree, the sale or dispatch is subject to the “production or maintenance of the vegetables, for at least one year, in insect-proof places that prevent the introduction of 'Trioza erytreae' […] subject to at least two official annual inspections during the production cycle”.

It is also necessary that the "transport, reception or dispatch of the vegetables" be done "in closed containers or packages, in order to ensure that the infestation by the insect cannot occur on the route within the demarcated area".