Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
838. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 841 of 1 February 2022, the circumstances under which potato seed may be imported into the State without the State from which it was imported being specified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6659/22]
Ireland has a high grade seed status and has additional controls in place including a requirement for pre-notification of imports from EU countries. The advance notification by the importer includes a requirement to state the country of origin of the seed potatoes.
However, as previously indicated in my reply to question of 841 of Feb 2022, there were two consignments imported, one in 2017 and a second in 2019 where the respective pre-import notification forms submitted did not include the Country of Origin. Steps were taken to ensure this error was not repeated.
Seed potatoes from third countries (with the exception of Switzerland which has equivalent plant health status to the EU) are banned from entering the EU.
I am committed to seeing the return of a domestic seed potato sector in Ireland. If the industry wants the return, I will back it and it is mu hope that we can see a return to the heyday of the sector here in Ireland.