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EU Commission reveals the final import list this week

"Import bans must be proportional and based on actual risks"

This week there will be more clarity about the list of high-risk plants, for which an import ban will take effect in December 2019. In the context of new European regulations, the requirements for import for plants and plant material from outside the EU will become stricter.

Many companies have responded to the draft list of the European Commission. LTO Glaskracht Nederland also submitted a response. The reactions clearly show that this import ban directly affects the companies, both within the Netherlands and abroad. LTO hopes that the European Commission will respond to these reactions and that the import bans of plants will be adjusted and applied more proportionally, based on the real risks.

Preliminary stage
In this file, LTO Glaskracht Nederland, together with LTO Nederland, Plantum, VBN and KAVB, among others, argued together for risk-based measures. The new European Plant Health Regulation is already giving more attention to the risks of the import of plant material. Nevertheless, there was a strong movement at the realization of the new regulation in the period 2013 - 2016, for no longer allowing an import of plant material, unless it is demonstrable that this is phytosanitary sufficiently safe. Partly thanks to the efforts of the Dutch government, supported by Dutch business organizations and backed by several Member States, a completely closed import system was not approved. To this end, many discussions have taken place with the parties involved, Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and the European umbrella organizations.

Lobby at the implementation regulations
After the publication of the Plant Health Regulation in December 2016, the development of the so-called secondary legislation was started. In this the implementation of the regulation is elaborated further. From the negotiations about whether there should be a closed import system is as an 'inheritance' left the possibility for a list of high-risk plants. In an implementation regulation this is given substance. The sentiments from the discussion about the import system now is again playing a role in the realization of this list.

With regard to the list of high-risk plants, LTO wants:
  • No import ban for plants that are cultivated under controlled conditions; for plants cultivated by companies that have a long-term and sustainable relationship with growers in the EU; for seeds, seedling material, graft wood and in vitro material; and for Ficus, Cycas, Ligustrum, Lonicera, Jasminum and Acer.
  • To request the Commission to state the criteria on the basis of which plants are included in this list; to mention the pests and diseases on this list that for these plants pose a very high risk for the EU territory; and to announce how many interceptions there have been in recent years.
  • To hold a plea for a more specific list, better adapted to the phytosanitary risks with refinement to plant species, gender, variety and country/region of origin.
  • To argue in favor for the possibility to be able to carry out a possible risk analysis of plants on this list, coming from third, further to be specified, countries or regions, in a quick and timely manner.

Source: LTO Glaskracht Nederland

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