Parallel imports of agrochemicals in France

Is this the end of the tunnel?

Probably not, but at least now there is light………………….

At long last France is seeking to adopt specific legislation for the parallel imports of AgChems coherent with EU law.

More specifically, during the vacation period of July-August 1999 the French Authorities backed down on two separate issues following AUDACE's complaint filed with the Commission in 1997.

1. The French Authorities used to impose higher rates of VAT (20.6 instead of 5.5) for parallel imported agrochemicals and prosecute parallel importers.

2. On the 07th August the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries published in the Official Journal a statement by which it authorised the importation on the French market of a plant protection product previously placed on any contracting market of the EEA. This will be subject to a very simplified authorisation procedure.

These decisions followed a package meeting in Brussels the 10th and 11th of June when the French Authorities were called before DGXV as a result of AUDACE's complaint in 1997.

Apart from putting this into practice, there remain three issues to resolve in order to make these regulations completely in accordance with EU law.


Parallel trade that is possible or not in France, the Community's largest and most diversified AgChems market, is critical to the profession across the rest of Europe.

This was recently demonstrated in Case 100-96 (judgement given on 11 March 1999) where multinational producers and some UK distributors, united within the British Agrochemicals Association Ltd, judicially reviewed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 's interpretation of EC Council Directive 91/414 concerning the marketing of plant protection products.

(see AUDACE's letter to UK farmers


AUDACE Press release 26th August 199


Press Contact AUDACE

Daniel Roques +33 254 96 88 13 fac-similé 88 41 84 (français)

Stéphane Delautre-Drouillon (English)

AUDACE is an association of users and distributors of agrochemicals created in application of the law of 1 July 1901 (France).

AUDACE's members use or sell plant protection products in complete agreement with Community law hence contributing to the economic performance of European agriculture.