Legislation & regulations

When growing and/or trading in flower bulbs, the adopted legislation and regulations must be complied with. These are intended to prevent or limit the spreading of viruses and quarantine defects (incl. pathogens). There are a number of different levels of legislation and regulations that apply. First of all, there are quality requirements laid down by the sector, followed by Dutch law and the EU directives, and finally (in the case of exports) there may be additional requirements laid down by a recipient non-EU country (the phytosanitary requirements).

The sector’s quality requirements

The quality requirements adopted by the sector are laid down in the implementing guidelines for each crop. These include a classification of the flower bulbs. There are three quality classes: class I, class ST (Standard) and class EGE (End Use Europe). In order to determine the class for the lot of flower bulbs, growers must arrange for the BKD to perform inspections and tests on their lot. that are laid down in the classification diagram.

A comprehensive or basic classification plan applies, depending on the crop. Click here for more information on the classification plans. Once the season has ended and once all inspections and tests under the relevant classification plan have been carried out, the batches will be definitively classified and the BKD will issue the relevant quality certificates.

On the implementing guidelines page for each crop, you can see the classification plans that apply for that crop. The standards per crop per class are set out in the implementing guidelines for the crop in question.

The LKW Act

The BKD operates under the Dutch LKW Act (Landbouwkwaliteitswet / Agricultural Quality Act) and the accompanying Agricultural quality regulations 2007 and Agricultural quality decree 2007. The BKD’s Inspection Regulations Flowerbulbs 2019, which are based on this legislation, lay down the way in which the checks and inspections are carried out and the way in which we issue documentary evidence (here you can find an archive of Inspection Regulations).

The EU directives and the trading requirements

In addition, EU directives PHR and OCR apply to the cultivation and trading of flower bulbs from the Netherlands. These contain the EU Phytosanitary requirements. Flowerbulbs with classes EGE, ST and I comply with these requirements.  An important aspect of these EU directives is the way in which flower bulbs must be traded and the information on this that must be provided and stored/retained. You can find more information on the trading requirements here.

Phytosanitary requirements

For export to third countries, flowerbulbs must at least comply with class ST. Some countries require Class I. Parties with class EGE are by default not suitable for export to third countries (some exceptions apply).

In addition to the class, parties must meet specific phytosanitary requirements (country requirements) during the field inspection and export inspection. These are the additional requirements , a recipient country located outside the EU may impose on the flower bulbs. In some cases, the BKD, the NVWA (the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) and a country that lies outside the EU also make specific arrangements regarding flower bulbs. Finally, a number of countries lay down not only phytosanitary requirements but also protocols for the trade in flower bulbs.

You can find the phytosanitary requirements for each country on the NVWA’s website.

Finds and measures

If any viruses and/or quarantine defects (such as pathogens) are found, certain measures have to be taken. You can find more information on finds, diseased batches and rejection here.

Decision to reject

Destruction of diseased batch

Aardappelmoeheid/Potato cyst nematode disease


Krokusknolaal/Aphelenchoides subtenius (pathogenic nematode)

Stengelaal/Stem nematodes

If a company fails to comply with the applicable legislation and regulations or with the measures imposed after a find then the BKD can impose sanctions on this company, including via the disciplinary court. A company can also lodge an objection to any inspection result, find or imposed measure.  You can read more about complaints, objections and the disciplinary court here.



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