TRADE AND MARKET I NG British potato trade table in October. The British are accused Applying in future for a phytocertificate In October, the exit agreement and the transition period between the UK and the EU should be clear. From October onwards official ratification follows, after which negotiations on the future trade relationship can formally begin. The Chairman of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), Hans de Boer, and the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, were pessimistic about the progress of the negotiations at the Brexit meeting at the end of June 2018. De Boer didn’t yet see any agreements on mutual trade relations on the of being unclear about what the future trade relationship should look like. A future trade relationship can range from a free trade area, such as the one Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have with the EU, to a relationship based on WTO import tariffs and quotas. With quotas, a certain volume may be imported at a zero rate. If the volume is higher, a levy follows. Import tariffs and quotas may have a negative impact on exports. But even more important is the question of what phytosanitary arrangements will be made. This is a matter for the national EU Member States to determine when exporting to Third Countries. But Europe is not yet allowing them to make agreements about phytosanitary market access requirements. It can be seen as encouraging that the UK intends to adopt EU legislation, possibly with a number of stricter requirements. Once the UK is a third country, exporters must apply for phytosanitary certificates as is the case for exports to other EU countries, unless different agreements are made about this such as those the EU has with Switzerland. The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) is also conducting technical consultations with colleagues in the UK about the use of electronic phytocertificates. This will not prevent an increase in border control pressure, especially if the UK does not become part of a free trade area with the EU. More controls increases the risk of logistical chaos at the ferry ports in the Netherlands, Belgium and also in the UK. A possible EU border closure for the Brits The UK potato sector is likely to suffer more under Brexit than the sector in the Netherlands. The question is whether the Potato World 2018 • number 4 19 Pagina 18

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