Forest plant protection in Austria

Forest plant protection comprises all measures protecting against the introduction and the dissemination of harmful organisms on forest plants, plant products and, in particular, wood.

Due to the accession of the countries of the former Eastern Bloc to the European Union the controls were shifted to the external borders of the EU. Forest plant protection therefore focuses on the control of wood packaging material in the inland.


If fault is found

1. the plant protection service of the sender country and
2. the European Commission and all Member States are notified by the BMLFUW via EUROPHYT (EU Network).


Every year the Federal Forest Office, which is part of the Institute for Forest Protection of the Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, carries out approx. 1000 checks of wood packaging material.


Forest plant protection has a long tradition in Austria


In addition to the rigorous provisions set out in the Forest Act, the so-called “Holzkontrollgesetz” (Wood Inspection Act) was adopted in 1962. This was necessary because during the early sixties rather large quantities of coniferous wood in bark were imported from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics via the Black Sea and the Danube, later also by train.


The entire coniferous wood in bark which was imported at certain points of entry was checked by wood inspection bodies and, in the event of pest infestation, was either treated under supervision or rejected. Upon the accession to the European Union the Wood Inspection Act was replaced by the 1995 Plant Protection Act, Federal Law Gazette 532/1995.


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