Plant Health and the Single European Market
James W. Goodford
In 1985 the European Community Governments agreed to establish a single market, which meant abolishing restrictions on trade between the member states. This went far beyond the removal of certain customs duties and non-tariff barriers to trade which resulted when the common market was first created. The idea was that in future there would be no greater restraint on trade between the UK and France than between Kent and Sussex (for example). The term normally used to describe this idea is free circulation.
The consequences of this decision, now on the way to implementation, are that by 31 December 1992 (the date set in the Single Market Act) there will be a slackening of frontier controls at any border between two member states. The Customs Entry form, a document which has always represented the focus of control and monitoring of goods entering the UK will disappear completely for imports—and this of course includes plants and plant propagating material—from other member states. However
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