On 15 December 2020, the French administrative court specified who bears the responsibility to prove that two plant protection products are deemed identical, even in their packaging boxes, in the context of submitting an extension of a parallel trade permit.
Gritche, a French cooperative company specialised in the wholesale of chemical products, has been entitled to a parallel trade permit since 13 December 2014. The permit allows it to import a wheat and barley fungicide called “Tipi” from the United Kingdom. On 27 June 2017, the company filed an application for an extension to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) in order to be able to import Tipi from Hungary. The product to be imported under the name “Tipi” holds a marketing authorisation on the Hungarian market under the name “D.” granted to Syngenta AD. Gritche considered that this product D. (which would be imported from Hungary under the Tipi name) was identical to the fungicide D. that Syngenta France SAS is allowed to sell on the French market.
On 31 July 2018, the ANSES reached its conclusions regarding the extension request for Tipi’s trade permit. The ANSES estimated that the active ingredients found in the Hungarian product D. and the one authorised in France under the reference D. had the same origin, and that both products’ composition was identical. However, the ANSES stated that the information at its disposal did not make it possible to ascertain whether the packaging was identical. Thus, [...]