The State Plant Health and Seed Inspection Service (SPHSIS) is the national plant protection organization within the meaning of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The SPHSIS activities continue a long tradition of plant protection in Poland, initiated in 1889. The Service is also the continuator of a 130-year-old tradition of Polish seed. The SPHSIS was formed on 1 April, 2002 by bringing together the State Plant Protection Service and the Seed Inspection Service. The legal basis for its work is the national law on plant protection, plant protection products, seed and all applicable European regulations. The Service is financed by the State budget and supervised by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The SPHSIS has statutory responsibilities for the supervision of plant health, prevention of risks related to the use and marketing of plant protection products and the supervision of production and marketing of seed material.
The Service’s activities are carried out by 2,300 employees:
at the central level – by the Main Inspector of Plant Health and Seed Inspection with the assistance of the Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection (MIPHSI). The Main Inspector is responsible for the formulation of the policy of the Service and the co-ordination of its regional units activities. The Main Inspector is also responsible for relations with other public and private institutions and organizations within the country. He also represents Poland in international meetings and agreements concerning plant protection and seed issues, including the EU regulations, import requirements of non-EU countries, EPPO and IPPC-forums;
at the regional level – by the Voivodeship Inspectors (VIPHSIS), who carry out control tasks within their territories and report to the Main Inspector. In the structure of the Service there are 16 Voivodeship Inspectorates within 272 field units and 13 border inspection posts at the external border of the EU, conducting control activities.
The tasks of the State Plant Health and Seed Inspection Service related to phytosanitary supervision include the assurance of appropriate health standards of plant material marketed in Poland, moved to other Member States of EU and imported from or exported to third countries. The Service carries out official inspections of plants and plant products for the presence of harmful organisms in order to prevent their spread. Finding of harmful organisms which pose phytosanitary risk to plants results in imposing official actions aimed at the eradication of the pests and preventing their further spread. The service is also responsible for the supervision of trial and scientific work with “quarantine objects”.
The SPHSIS also undertakes measures in order to ensure a high quality and health status seed material satisfying producers and farmers’ requirements and giving assurance of proper farm productivity. This activity covers, among others, the registration of plant propagative material suppliers, field and laboratory assessment of the material, the supervision of material placed on the market, including the control regarding GMO content in conventional plant propagative material and issuing official labels and seals.
The SPHSIS is responsible for the supervision of marketing, packaging and the application of plant protection products, including controls of technical status of pesticide application equipment. The general goal is to ensure that only legal plant protection products of high quality are placed on the market and they are used in such a way that eliminates a risk to the safety of human and animal health as well as to the environment.
The activity of the Service is supported by a network of official laboratories that function at the central and regional level in the field of phytosanitary diagnostics, quality of seed material estimation, GMO analysis and pesticide residue testing. State of the art laboratory facilities and internationally recognized testing procedures used by competent laboratory staff as well as certificates of accreditation according to the EN ISO/IEC 17025 guarantee reliable testing results.