In the production and utilization of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) quality assurance has always been a focal issue. Despite this, the last decades have seen a new upsurge in the need to improve the traceability and safety of natural products. The increasing reliability in the production/collection practices of these species is also meant to contribute to the increasing acceptance of these commodities. To date, the major scientific bodies/organizations involved are engaged in the elaboration of guidelines and regulations that should contribute to the availability of validated scientific data on quality, safety and efficacy. Appropriate policies and legal frameworks to guide the protection, trade, and applications of medicinal and aromatic plant materials are also being elaborated (GAP, GCP, GMP). Due to the variability, and the occasionally national character of quality assurance-related activity, there seems to be an increased need for the international harmonization of efforts.