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Parallel trade permits

Prices for authorised plant protection products can vary from Member State to Member State in the EU. As long as they are cheaper in other Member States compared to Germany, users or trading companies will want to acquire these products in order to then use them in Germany or to place them on the market there. In principle this is possible due to the free movement of goods in the EU. This so-called parallel trade does not require separate authorisation. However, the supplier who intends to trade in Germany with a plant protection product from another Member State, and the user who imports corresponding plant protection products for his own use into Germany, require an approval for parallel trade (called a parallel import permit up to 13 June 2011).

An approval for parallel trade must be applied for at the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). This is issued in a simplified procedure if the plant protection product for which an application is submitted is already authorised in a Member State of the EU and its composition is identical to an authorised plant protection product (reference product) in Germany. When the BVL processes the application, it checks together with the competent authorities in other Member States to see whether the composition of the plant protection product intended for parallel trade is identical to the reference product which is authorised in Germany. This ensures that the plant protection products intended for parallel trade fulfil the requirements demanded of plant protection legislation with regard to product quality and safety for users, consumers and the environment. The list of approvals (or parallel import permits) which have been granted for parallel trade is made public by the BVL in the 'Bundesanzeiger' (Federal Gazette) and on this website. The federal states are responsible for monitoring plant protection products already on the market.

Imitation products, often called generic products, which are not authorised in a Member State of the EU are not subject to parallel trade and may not be placed on the market or used in Germany without an authorisation.

Application forms and the criteria according to which the granting of approvals for parallel trade is decided, can be retrieved on the right.

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