The European Commission’s Health and Food Safety Directorate General commissioned the ‘ad-hoc study on the trade of illegal and counterfeit pesticides in the EU,’ which raises concerns about the effectiveness of parallel import regulation, in particular the lack of a uniform approach to repackaging and the ineffective sanctions for cases of misuse. The study recommends that EU provisions on parallel trade be reviewed in the context of the planned review of the legal framework for Plant Protection Product authorisation.
Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association said:
“The CPA has been concerned for some time about the potential for abuse of legitimate parallel trade permits to place illegal pesticides on the UK market. Under the current system repackaging is allowed. Once the original package has been opened and the manufacturers seal has been broken it becomes very difficult to verify that the product inside is genuine. Whilst legitimate parallel importers may choose to repack for good reason, this provides a loophole that unscrupulous dealers can exploit.
“Our industry is committed to raising awareness of the dangers of illegal pesticides through the Watch Out! campaign. Through research, development, testing and the regulatory approvals process our members ensure that their products are safe for human health and the environment. That is not the case with illegal pesticides that are unregulated and uncontrolled and may pose genuine risks to human health, food, the environment, and farmers’ livelihoods.
“We would urge farmers and growers to be vigilant and avoid any unnecessary risks by only buying from reputable suppliers they know they can trust.”
Notes for Editors
- The Crop Protection Association (CPA) is a key voice of the UK Plant Science Industry. We promote the role of modern plant science in safeguarding our food supply from seed to shelf. Our members are involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of plant science technologies which are of crucial importance to the cultivation and protection of food crops, protecting our gardens, woodlands, infrastructure and public places.
- The Executive Summary of the DG SANTE ‘Ad-hoc study on the trade of illegal and counterfeit pesticides in the EU’ states that, ‘despite the existence of provisions and guidance governing parallel trade under Article 52 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, evidence collected throughout the study points out to their widespread misuse, in addition to lack of consistent enforcement across the EU. In particular, the lack of uniform approach to repackaging and the sanctions for cases of misuse stand out as the two major shortcomings in this context.
- ’The Executive Summary also recommends: ‘Evaluating complexity by reviewing EU provisions on parallel trade in the context of the planned review of the EU legal framework for PPPs authorisation.’
- The Executive Summary is available from the DG SANTE website at:http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/authorisation_of_ppp/index_en.htm
- For more information on the “Watch Out!” campaign visit: https://cropprotectionassociation.org.uk/media/1064/watch_out_leaflet.pdf