Parallel trade

Parallel trade makes possible the circulation of authorised plant protection products within the European Union. A plant protection product which is authorised in another EU Member State can be placed on the market in Belgium, with a permit. In order to prevent unacceptable risks to public health, animals and plants, and the environment, a plant protection product is only authorised for parallel trade if it is identical to a product which is already authorised in Belgium.

Requirements for parallel trade

The requirements for a permit for parallel trade are laid down in article 52 of European Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009.

The criteria which are used to assess the identity of a plant protection product are summarised here for information purposes:

  1. The product to be imported and the reference product (= product authorised in Belgium) are identical in terms of 
    • identity and content of active substance(s), protective substance(s) and synergist(s)
    • producer
    • type of formulation (e.g. SL, WG, etc.)
    • target market (professional or non-professional use)
  2. The products are identical or equivalent in terms of 
    • nature and content of co-formulants
    • packaging (type, size and shape)

For products for non-professional (amateur) use there are a number of additional requirements for the packaging and the measuring cup (see checklist for products for amateur use).

The criteria are described in detail in the European guidance document. This document clarifies the implementation of article 52 of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009.

Applying for a permit for parallel trade

Follow this procedure to obtain a permit for parallel trade:

  • Complete the application form and email it (paralleltrade@health.belgium.be) or send it by post to our service (see contact details) together with the proposal for the label for the product
  • You will receive an invoice for the administrative procedure which also serves as an acknowledgement of receipt
  • The identity of the plant protection product in question will be assessed
    • You will receive the official permit if the products are found to be identical. Send an adapted proposal for the label as quickly as possible if this is requested in the accompanying letter.
    • You will receive a letter with the reasons for the refusal if the products are found not to be identical.

For more detailed information, please refer to the European guidance document.

Inspections of parallel trade

It is possible to import authorised plant protection products from the date indicated on the permit. The permit also has a validity date after which imports are no longer possible.

Follow this procedure to notify of an import:

  • Notify all imports of plant protection products by completing the form in the authorisation certificate.
  • Send this form by email (paralleltrade@health.belgium.be) or by fax to our service (see contact details).
  • Retain a product in its original packaging with the original label for the purposes of an inspection. In addition, retain a second sample of packaging as it is placed in the market in Belgium (if it is repackaged).

The inspection of imported products will be carried out by the FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain).