Quarantine organisms are plant pathogens that are not yet present in the EU, or are present but not widely distributed, and deemed by EU legislation as being harmful to plant health. Policy is aimed at preventing the introduction and further spread of such organisms. Since the import and use of such organisms is in principle prohibited, each EU Member State is obliged to supervise compliance with the import ban and, in cases where approval is given, to supervise their contained use in a manner that is safe for plant health. The main principle underlying this list concerns the protection of plant health.

With regard to the harmful organisms named in the Plant Health Regulation 2016/2031/EC (so-called quarantine organisms), the Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority (NVWA) is responsible for assessing the risks of their import and use, and restriction thereof. The NVWA can grant an exemption from phytosanitary prohibitions under EU Regulation 2019/829/EC.