The NVMA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Authority) has announced that Australia will be introducing import requirements as of March 1, which the Netherlands will not be able to meet at this moment. As of March 1 no export certificates will be issued because of this. Currently the policy is 'almost free', but Australia demands that cut flowers are 'free' of about 400 diseases and plagues per March 1.
Australia has also announced that to be able to meet the 'free from' demand the exporting country is expected to carry out the following actions:
- Systems approach. Growers must demonstrably set up their production according to a fixed protocol. This is currently not happening in the Netherlands.
- Gassing with methylbromide prior to export. Methylbromide, however, is prohibited in the Netherlands.
- Other treatment prior to export. Not happening in the Netherlands.
B. Export inspection (100% of shipment)
C. Requirements to packaging (closed or netted)
D. 'Devitalizing' products which can be used for further growing (stalks and cuttings).
The VGB (Dutch organization for flower wholesalers) knows the demands set by Australia cannot be met at the moment, and therefore no export certificates can be issued. Certificates issued before March 1 remain valid. The NVMA has stated it will consult with Australia, and has requested postponement of the commencing date of the measures. You will be informed as soon as new information becomes available.