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Import Tolerance – what is it and why is it needed?

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Friday, August 24, 2018

An import tolerance is an MRL (Maximum Residue Level) set for imported products to meet the needs of international trade. For imported products, MRLs set in the importing country or region must be met.

An “Import Tolerance” application is needed to set an MRL for imported products such that trade can be facilitated. Due to a variety of reasons, there is a general disharmony of MRLs across the food producing World and this can cause trade problems for those involved in the import / export of agricultural products containing pesticides residues.

Applications for an import tolerance could be requested by manufacturers of plant protection products, growers/producers or importers. Applications are possible for active substances that are already approved in the importing country or even those which are not.

Eurofins Agroscience Services (EAS) can manage applications for an import tolerance from identification of data gaps to generation of data needed (methods of analysis, toxicology, residues) and through to the preparation of the dossier. The data requirements are generally outlined in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 for the setting of MRLs. However, exact data requirements need to be assessed individually as they depend on approval status of the active substance under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.

Where residue trials are required, EAS has many GLP accredited field stations and analytical laboratories throughout the World. In countries where there is no EAS Test Site, work will be done in cooperation with our local partners.

A few examples where EAS can perform residue trials:

  • Africa (South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast) – Mango trees, Cocoa trees
  • North Africa (Morocco) – Dates, orchards, tomatoes, strawberries, beans
  • Central & South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico) – bananas, avocado, coffee
  • Asia (India, China, Vietnam, Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand) – Tea plants, rice, corn, mangoes, grapes, palm fruit
  • Australia, New Zealand – kiwi, tomato

Each country has its own rules and legislations and the local conditions can be very challenging. All of these factors can create a potentially complex project - EAS Group manages these issues in order to achieve the high level of quality expected from the industry.

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