Defra has agreed a three and a half year extension to the rules allowing treated seed to be imported from the EU beyond the original December 2023 cut-off point.
As part of the UK’s EU withdrawal arrangements, seed treated with plant protection products (PPP) would no longer be able to be imported from the EU after 31 December 2023.
Therefore, PPP-treated seed could only be traded and used in Great Britain after that date if it had been treated with a product authorised for that purpose in Great Britain.
The AIC, which worked with other interested parties and Defra on the extension, says there was a risk of significant disruption to the supply of treated seed from the European Union.
As a result of the lobbying, Defra laid a Statutory Instrument before Parliament on 24th October that allows farmers and growers to have continued access to seeds treated with PPPs and imported from the EU up to 1 July 2027, as long as the PPPs used remain authorised in at least one EU or EEA member state.
The temporary measure must now be approved by Parliament, so that the emergency legislation can take effect before the end of 2023.
“We are pleased that this legislation has finally been brought forward so that treated seed supply from the EU may continue without the threat of disruption from the New Year,” comments AIC head of crop protection and agronomy Hazel Doonan. “Once passed, this will give much-needed confidence to seed importers, distributors and their farming customers to plan ahead for the 2024 season and beyond.”
The AIC says the derogation is particularly important for treated maize seeds, crucial for dairy cattle forage and energy production through anaerobic digestion.