27 june 2019
Earlier we talked about the changed EU import requirements as of 1 September 2019 for plants with an attached growing medium. During a briefing for importers of plants the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA) further explained the requirements. According to the NVWA, the RHP Horticulture quality mark can be used to indicate that the certified product has been treated effectively against harmful organisms.
On 12 June, the NVWA, together with Naktuinbouw and Royal FloraHolland, organised a briefing for companies that import outdoor plants or plants that come into contact with cultivation in the open in any other way. The goal was to further elaborate on the future EU import requirements and to see whether and how companies with these kinds of products can meet the new requirements.
It concerns the Annex IV A I, item 34 (p. 56) from Implementing Directive (EU) 2019/523.
For plants involving: 'Growing media attached to or associated with plants, intended to maintain the vitality of the plants, with the exception of sterile media for in-vitro plants, originating from third countries with the exception of Switzerland.'
a. The growing medium that is attached to or associated with the plant on the moment of import needs to meet the following requirements:
1. It needs to be free of soil and organic material and may not have been used for agricultural purposes before (so inorganic materials such as perlite and vermiculite are permitted).
2. It needs to be composed entirely of peat and/or coir fibre and may not have been used for agricultural purposes before (other organic components need to have been treated, see 3).
3. It has been effectively treated against harmful organisms. The NVWA considers RHP Horticulture certified growing medium as effectively treated. However, the phytosanitary authorities of the exporting country determine what is approved and state the means and method on the phytosanitary certificate.
It was stored under safe circumstances, free of harmful organisms.
AND (always a and b in combination!)
b. Since planting in this (present) growing medium:
1. suitable measures have been taken in order to keep the growing medium free of harmful organisms, including at least:
2. the medium has been completely removed by rinsing with water that is free of harmful organisms within two weeks before export. Replanting is permitted in a growing medium that meets the requirements from a. and then the requirements from b./1.
Therefore inorganic material such as perlite and vermiculite and solely the organic materials peat and coir fibre are permitted if they have not been used for agricultural purposes before. And if it concerns any organic material other than peat or coir fibre, then it must first be effectively treated against harmful organisms. According to the NVWA, the RHP Horticulture quality mark is considered an effective measure in order to minimalize the risk of harmful organisms. The official authorities of the exporting country, however, determine which treatments are approved of and are stated on the phytosanitary certificate. Therefore it is always a good idea to contact, for example, the phytosanitary authorities of the exporting country in time.