AHEC Trade Alert! There has been considerable confusion surrounding several changes to the EUphytosanitary regulations that will be introduced from October 1, 2014. These changes are set out in European Commission Implementing Directive 2014/78/EU of June 17, 2014 which amends the Annexes to the European Council Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC. Some of the new measures are clearly burdensome and, we believe, disproportionate to the risk involved. There are particularly onerous requirements for ash from EAB affected areas and for all birch to be bark-free with at least 2.5cm of outer sapwood removed. (The situation is complicated further by APHIS' issue of guidance implying that the EU's 2.5cm ruling applies not only to ash and birch, but also to maple and oak. This guidance on oak and maple is inaccurate and neither species is subject to the 2.5cm ruling.)AHEC is now consulting with APHIS to ensure their guidance is clarified.
Regrettably the EU did not consult on these measures and provided no advance warning to the industry. AHEC is now taking steps to challenge the new ruling on ash and birch. However, given the slow pace of decision-making in the EU, we do not know how long the measures will be in place.
The linked document here >> sets out AHEC's understanding of the official requirements being introduced by the EU from 1 October based on detailed scrutiny of the new legal text and recent correspondence with EU Plant Health authorities. This information will be updated depending on the success of our-ongoing efforts to overturn the most burdensome measures.
Please contact Mike Snow, Executive Director AHEC if you have any additional questions or concerns. Mr. Snow can be reached by phone @ 703-435-2900 ext. 114 or by email.