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NL: More intensive inspections on pot plant exports to the UK starting October 1

From October 1, 2023, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and the Inspection Services will intensify inspections on potted plants exported to the UK for the presence of Bemisia tabaci (tobacco whitefly). In the UK, the tobacco whitefly is a quarantine organism. A 0 tolerance applies. Despite this, the UK is finding this organism much more frequently on consignments from the Netherlands this year compared to previous years. All exporters of pot plants to the UK have now been informed by the NVWA.

The UK intensively inspects for the presence of the tobacco whitefly. Consignments in which this organism is found are not allowed to enter the UK. The organism was found about 60 times in 2021 and about 100 times in 2022. This year, the counter already stands at almost 90.

Whitefly. Image: ©EPPO, Agroscope FAW Wädenswil

Intensified checks on potted plants
The intensive checks focus on pot plants of the species Begonia, Ajuga, Crossandra, Hibiscus, Nerium oleander, Helianthus, Capsicum, Poinsettia, and Dipladenia. From October 1, every lot of these species in a consignment must be inspected by the Inspection Services. A consignment is a certificate and may consist of several lots. A larger sample will also be taken.

For species other than those mentioned above, the current working method will continue to apply: a portion of the lots from a shipment will be inspected under the existing sample.

Industry responsibility
It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that plants and plant products meet the import requirements of the country of destination. The NVWA has reminded the sector of their responsibility several times in recent months. Nevertheless, the UK still encounters the tobacco whitefly too often on consignments from the Netherlands, and intensified checks are necessary.

The aim of these measures is to prevent the UK from being forced to (further) tighten their import requirements. Intensified controls alone are not the solution. NVWA, therefore, once again appeals to the responsibility of the industry.

Source: NVWA

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