Temporary measures in relation to low water levels of rivers and canals in Northwest Europe

19 November 2018

Due to the extremely low water level of rivers and canals in Northwest Europe, the supply of raw materials for feed via inland waterway vessels is currently running very slow, and may even shutdown in some parts. Because of the persistent draught, the water level is expected to drop even further. Because of these bottlenecks, the continuity of the production of cattle feed is compromised, as a result of which a shortage of sufficient GMP+ assured storage and transport capacity per axle may temporarily arise for GMP+ FSA participants. GMP+ International was asked by stakeholders to cooperate in resolving this specific bottlenecks.

Temporary measures
To create sufficient suitable storage and road transport capacity, to take care of the absent transport by inland waterway vessels and with that, to safeguard the continuity of supply and storage of raw materials for feed, GMP+ International has established the following in accordance with GMP+ A1 article 11.1: 

1.  Two existing gatekeeper protocols will immediately be made available for use in all affected areas:

Gatekeeper protocol for road transport (GMP+BA10, Annex 9, section A)
Gatekeeper protocol for storage and transshipment (GMP+ BA10, Annex 10)

2.  The gatekeeper protocol for inland waterway transport (GMP+ BA10, Annex 9, section B) can, with somewhat changed
     contents, be used for the affected areas. This change is described in the annex.

Explanation with 1
Availability of these gatekeeper protocols temporarily offers GMP+ FSA certified participants the opportunity to make use of non-certified road transport and storage and transshipment. The following are a number of important requirements with regard to these protocols: 

  • They can only be applied by GMP+ FSA certified producers and traders
  • That the participant signs a quality assurance agreement with the non-certified transport company / storage and transshipment company, in which the rights and obligations with regard to guaranteeing the GMP+ FSA requirements are assured
  • So-called list of A-countries (GMP+ BA10, Annex 9 and 10) does not apply
  • The participant instructs the contracted, non-certified transport / storage company with regard to the transport / storage and transshipment requirements, such as:
                     - leaning and / or disinfection in accordance with the IDTF,
                     - keeping records as part of the T&T,
                     - what to do when a deviating load is transported
                     - adequate hygiene and pest control.
    The release procedure applies when forbidden loads have been transported. In this case, the loading compartment must have been released prior to the transport of GMP+ feed.
  • The GMP+ FSA participant carries out an initial inspection at the non-certified transport / storage and transshipment company to verify the above. Furthermore, it goes without saying that all prescribed inspections are carried out, the necessary records are kept and are available.

See GMP+ BA10 ‘Minimum requirements for purchasing, Annex 9, section A and 10 for the full overview of the requirements.

Explanation with 2
The temporary gatekeeper protocol for inland waterway transport is added to this newsletter as Annex. It may be used in the affected areas by producers and traders with the scope Affreightment of inland waterway transport. In addition, affreightment companies with this scope may also use this protocol.

Other measures
In addition to the aforementioned, the participants who use these temporary measures must observe the following:

3.  Affected areas: the participant must make demonstrable that it is suffering insurmountable hindrance of the low water levels
     and thus is allowed to use this solution.

4.  The participant must apply the protocols correctly and be able to demonstrate the correct implementation thereof to its
     GMP+ auditor.

5.  No exemption is required to apply these protocols.

Effective immediately
These measures are effective immediately and shall, in principle, remain in effect until April 1st 2019. Until this date, the situation will be constantly monitored. If necessary, GMP+ International will inform the participants about any shortening or extension of the application well in advance. Given the uncertain duration of these temporary measures, long-term contracts with non-certified storage and transshipment companies are not recommended.

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