Glyphosate (UK)

In 2017, the EU decided to renew (for a further five years) the licence that permits the herbicide Glyphosate to be marketed and used in the EU28. I have posted before about this (but it was a while back).

Glyphosate is marketed as Roundup by the US agrochemical company Monsanto.

One UN study called the chemical “probably carcinogenic”, but other scientists said it was safe to use.

The UK was among the EU member states in favour of glyphosate renewal. Germany and Poland were also among them – though they had previously abstained.

France and Belgium were among the states that voted against. Portugal abstained. President Macron said after the decision that France would ban Glyphosate as soon as alternatives are found, and within three years at the latest.

The EU Commission said the current proposal on the weedkiller “enjoys the broadest possible support by the member states while ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment”.

Glyphosate was introduced by Monsanto in 1974, but its patent expired in 2000, and now the chemical is sold by various manufacturers.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

Some countries and regions have banned glyphosate use in public parks and gardens. Its effect on plants is non-selective, meaning it will kill most of them when applied.

The European Commission says that besides EFSA, the European Chemicals Agency and other scientific bodies found no link to cancer in humans.

The Soil Association says glyphosate traces are regularly found in bread.

Since the EU decision, a US court has ordered Monsanto to pay one user a substantive sum in damages after he developed cancer, a second case in a different US court also ordered a substantive sum in damages, and further cases are before the US courts in different places.

As a result, Councils across the UK are examining whether to take action. This Guardian article summarises – here.

The current Government guidance is under review.

HSE is the UK regulator responsible for plant protection products (pesticides and herbicides) following Brexit – their online information is here.

Plants and Plant Products Import from UK (Ireland Brexit)

Exit day is 12th April (this Friday) – exit time is 12.00 CET (midnight)

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK will become a third country.

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will play a key role in implementing and enforcing EU law in this instance. This will include performing the necessary checks and controls and processing the necessary authorisations and licences when importing from the UK.

DAFM is now giving greater priority to preparations for the UK being a Third Country. I posted yesterday about its instructions for traders dealing with the UK for animal products.

DAFM is now calling for all traders involved in the import and export of plants and plant products with the UK (timber, potted plants in retail outlets etc) to register with the DAFM as soon as possible.

Instructions are here.

Applicants are required to complete forms and return these forms to the Horticulture & Plant Health Division of the DAFM.

On completion of the registration process, an importer will be notified of their unique Plant-Health Registration Number (PHR No.). This unique Plant Health Number will be required to be referenced by an importer in all applications for importation of plants and plant products.

The above Instructions link gives access to a number of different instructions and a useful Q&A – for example –

Q: I am working for a retail multiple and we import a number of consignments of plants per week into Ireland from the UK.  Do I need to get a phytosanitary certificate from each of my suppliers of plants in the UK?, or will one phytosanitary certificate cover the entire consignment?

A: It is the NPPO (National Plant Protection Organisation) of UK who issue phytosanitary certificates for consignments of plants and plant products for export to countries outside their jurisdiction.  Consignments of plants and plant products travelling from third countries are typically accompanied by one phytosanitary certificate that covers the entire consignment.  However, it is up to the UK authorities to decide how many phytosanitary certificates they issue.  Please note that in situations where we receive multiple phytosanitary certificates for a consignment, that it will result in processing delays.

Q: Do I have customs obligations when importing plants and plant products from the UK? If so, where do I find out what I need to do?

A: Yes, when importing plants and plant products from the UK you will have certain obligations to fulfil from a customs perspective.  Please click here for more details.

Q: I am a non-commercial importer and I wish to bring cut flowers home from a third country (non-EU) what do I need to do?

A: There are many thousands of species of cut flowers, some are regulated others are not, so it’s not possible to tell you until we know the specific details.  Please submit your query via email to plantandpests@agriculture.gov.ie

[the exit day may change, please keep following this Blog]