Turkey (YES): We must strengthen the control of the black market of plant protection products

Colleagues,

Of course, I would like to approach this phytosanitary law from several angles. It can be said that the submitted legal regulation somehow divides the law into two basic areas. On the one hand, it is the field of phytosanitary measures, known as the phytosanitary field, and on the other hand, it is here that the question of the placing on the market and the use of phytosanitary and auxiliary products is raised in great detail.

At the same time, the law implements the relevant European directives in our legal order and, as the petitioner himself acknowledges in the explanatory memorandum, despite the establishment of clear rules in both areas through European and national regulations, practice shows that there is room and need for improvement. And there, I think there is a lot of room for discussion.

The proposed legal regulation undoubtedly leads to a change in the field of protection against plant pests also in the field of preparations. The first very important modification of the proposal is the introduction of labeling of plant protection products for professional users by means of unique identifiers. In the measures to ensure the achievement of the objectives in this area, it is necessary to strengthen the control of the black market of plant protection products without registration in the form of this electronic registration for authorization holders, producers, distribution and , last but not least, primary agricultural production through the electronic codes already mentioned.

It should be noted that a sector study carried out last year by the European Union Intellectual Property Office indicated that within the EU-28, sales of illegal counterfeit pesticides accounted for 13.8% of their total sales, counterfeits imported into the Czech Republic accounting for more than 17.8% of sales, and so we are going in this direction, in this negative figure above the European Union average of around 4% and in total, and this is of course a striking figure, these counterfeits represent a value of 930 million crowns. So, in a way, it’s a serious problem.

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Of course, the law itself, the bill introduces obligations both towards the licensees, the own producers, the distribution of agricultural primary production, however, as is customary, there is always a unbalanced distribution of responsibilities in the drafting of this legislation, which generally favors licensees, producers, distribution itself and those most affected by some kind of agricultural primary production is a disproportionate burden of bureaucracy, reports and of course they themselves have a very difficult position, a complex situation, because they work in the field, they have to respond to the biological nature of agricultural primary production.

They have to make decisions within hours. Whereas licensees and manufacturers decide in months, years. Of course, they decide on primary agricultural production, our primary producers decide in a few hours, maximum days. If they do not make such a decision, they will of course lose the entire crop of that given production year. So, of course, it’s a heavy burden for them, and of course, any increase in additional bureaucracy is perceived negatively in this sense by them and weakens them, weakens their very competitiveness.

I would like to ask the Minister for Agriculture here present if he is counting on this and if this subject has already been and will be discussed within the anti-bureaucratic committee set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, if it has been discussed whether conclusions were reached. And what will be the procedure of the ministry of agriculture in response to these conclusions of the anti-bureaucratic commission of the ministry of agriculture in order to minimize the bureaucratic impact on primary agricultural production.

The second area that I would like to mention, and it must be taken into account, is that in the field of phytosanitary and illegal markets, whether with phytosanitary products or aids, the situation of the illegal market in counterfeits and materials. I would be reluctant to see this law, I would say, affect our producers, seeds and seed companies in particular. They were burdened with excessive practical bureaucracy, a certain disadvantage for foreign colleagues. On the other hand, I expect that as the consequences of the food crisis in Europe and in the world increase, I would say, there will be an increase, I would say, in the pressure of the sector of sales, distribution of illegal phytosanitary products and phytosanitary products.

At the same time, it can be assumed that even due to the crisis in this area of ​​the agricultural sector in Ukraine and its effects on all plant and animal products in general, there will be, I would say, in the European area an increase , I would say, pressure, demand pressures after seeds and seedlings. And, of course, the area, I would say, imports, exports throughout the EU-28 and non-certified plants and seeds will be affected again. I am therefore very interested in this, how the Ministry of Agriculture is practically ready to act in the field of phytosanitary in a way to protect on the one hand our producers of seeds and seedlings, so that they are not exposed , I would say disproportionate and unfair competition from abroad, because you have to reckon with, I would say, pressure in this area.

At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the State Phytosanitary Administration, is ready not only to protect domestic producers of seeds and seedlings, but also to protect primary agricultural producers from the introduction, I would say, of dangerous diseases and pests. This is, I think, a major challenge and, in this respect, phytosanitary supervision within the Ministry of Agriculture must be strengthened. So the second question, and I join here the questions of my predecessors to the Minister of Agriculture, is whether the ministry is considering a possible modification of this phytosanitary law in the future, which should include a reduction, I would say, administrative requirements for primary agricultural production to protect our primary agricultural production in this phytosanitary field and to respond practically to the situation that will undoubtedly occur in the whole of the European market, perhaps the world market in the field of the movement of seeds, sowing and the use of phytosanitary and auxiliary products.

So thank you for your attention, and I’ll ask the minister to answer those questions.

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author: PV

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