Name change Pennisetum setaceum varieties

Last June, we informed that the Pennisetum setaceum varieties had definitively been added by the European Commission to the list of invasive plants.

DNA examination has shown that the following varieties are not related to Pennisetum setaceum. Their incorrect classification had threatened to have these varieties banned under the European legislation on invasive exotics.

The names of the varieties in question have been changed so they will not fall under the cultivation and marketing ban announced by the European Union. This concerns the following product codes at the VBN auctions:

Product code Old Product name New Product name
51152 Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum advena ‘Rubrum’
318177 Pennisetum setaceum Red Riding Hood Pennisetum advena ‘Red Riding Hood’
318967 Pennisetum setaceum ‘Metallica’ Pennisetum advena ‘Metallica’
320115 Pennisetum setaceum ‘Sky Rocket’ Pennisetum advena ‘Sky Rocket’

Pennisetum setaceum (product code 51151) remains banned.

Grading code S04 (Plant diameter) mandatory for Argyranthemum frutescens from 1 April 2018

With Argyranthemum frutescens, customers are increasingly considering the plant diameter to be important product information, a significant factor when deciding on a purchase. Given this development, we are going to make this product information available as a mandatory prescribed characteristic. This proposal has been accepted by the VBN Regulations Steering Group.

From 1 January 2018, the grading code S04 (plant diameter) will be added to position 3 for Argyranthemum frutescens (product group 3 09 004 01). It will be set as advisory for the first 3 months and then made mandatory from 1 April 2018.



Full product name

Characteristic pos. 1

Characteristic pos. 2 Characteristic pos. 3 Charact. pos. 4

Characteristic pos. 5

3 09 004 01 Argyranthemum frutescens


S02 S04 S54
Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory


S01 = Pot size
S02 = Minimum plant height
S04 = Minimum plant diameter
S54 = Plant shape

Import from India

After consultations at the EU level, the NVWA has decided that ‘electronic’ phytosanitary certificates from India with the text ‘digitally signed’ will no longer be accepted because the EU still has not come to an agreement with India about the use of electronic certificates.

This means that:
Phytosanitary certificates that are certified on November 1 or thereafter may not carry the text ‘digitally signed’, but must have an original wet stamp and an original wet signature.

Information about the False Codling Moth, intended for trade flows from Africa / Israel

False Codling Moth (scientific name Thaumatotibia leucotreta) will be given the quarantine status in the European Union from November 2017.

False Codling Moth is a polyphagous pest which can feed on more than 70 host plants among which important crops like citrus, peppers (Capsicum spp.), roses, maize and cotton. The specie is present in most African countries and Israel and can cause extensive damage, especially in citrus fruits and peppers in Europe, what is the main reason for the decision of the European Commission to give it a quarantine status. This means that from November 2017 roses and other host plants imported into the EU have to be free of eggs, larvae or moths of the False Codling Moth. If eggs, larvae or moths are found the consignment will be rejected and destroyed.

Currently, infected roses are not rejected when imported into the EU and the findings are not registered for the “reduced checks” system. From November the rejections of infected rose shipments can influence the“ reduced check” percentage for roses from Kenya, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. A higher percentage of reduced checks will lead to more inspections, higher costs and logistical delays.

Growers, ex/import companies and unpackers have to be aware of the strict requirements concerning False Codling Moth when exporting to the EU. Rose growers in African countries and Israel need to take adequate measures to prevent rejections of shipments.

Dutch information folder Thaumatotibia leucotreta

Additions to the EU-list Xylella host plant and plant passport requirement

The European Commission has added the following host plants to the list (update 9). For all plants on this list plant passports are legally required in case of marketing within the EU.

The new host plants are:

  • Cercis siliquastrum
  • Cytisus villosus
  • Ficus carica
  • Fraxinus angustifolia
  • Lavandula x intermedia
  • Prunus domestica
  • Rosa canina
  • Vitis vinifera

For more information regarding plant passport and Xylella fastidiosa consult the NVWA website and NVWA Xylella.

For Arrangements quality code S53 (Pot material) will be mandatory from 1 September 2017

For Arrangements, the pot material is increasingly considered important product information by buyers, partly due to specific questions from end buyers. The type of pot material is an important reason to buy an arrangement (or not). Given this development, we want to make this product information available as a mandatory, regulatory code. This proposal has been accepted by the VBN Regulations Steering Group.

For Arrangements (product groups 2 13 001 00 and 3 14 001 00), the quality code S53 (Pot material) will be mandatory from 1 September 2017 at position 5. This code has been advised for some time now.

Position Code Description Instruction
1 S01 Pot size Mandatory
2 S15 Transport height Mandatory
3 S03 Number of cuttings/plants per pot Mandatory
4 S05 Maturity stage Advised
5 S53 Pot material Mandatory
6 S51 Pot shape Advised

Via the link below, you can see a list of the quality codes:
Qualilty codes

The use of uniform symbols in the product information in the product specifications for pot orchids

In 2014 the uniform product information symbols for pot orchids were introduced, after being approved by the FPC. Currently, around 40% of orchid suppliers use them.

The Chain Communication and Quality workgroup has recommended including the use of uniform symbols in the product information in the product specifications for pot orchids.

This proposal was approved by the FPC Pot Orchid and the VBN Regulations Steering Group.

There are several reasons for requiring the use of the uniform symbols on labels:

  • Uniformity ensures that consumers become familiar with the symbols and will eventually be able to recognise them, making the care of their plants easier to understand.
  • Uniformity fosters widespread communication about the care of pot plants. For example, consumers can find the symbols on websites or shop personnel can be trained and in turn inform consumers better.
  • If everyone keeps using their own symbols, consumers will find it difficult to understand how to care for pot plants, and there is no possibility of doing something about it.

In the product specifications for pot orchids, the following is included under the ‘Product-specific packaging regulations’:
It is mandatory for orchids in pot to be accompanied by product information using uniform symbols (insert or hanging labels or something else as long as it is associated with the product). The print files for the uniform product information symbols can be downloaded from the homepage under the heading ‘Symbolen’.

Product specifications easier to find on new VBN-website

Searching for product specifications has become easier for suppliers and buyers. The information on is now arranged much more clearly so you can have an immediate overview of the minimum criteria that a product must fulfil.

Product specifications are the guidelines to assess and classify quality. Starting 15 May, the renovated VBN website is live with a new look & feel, better access to the product specifications and new software. Given the modern technology on this updated website, changes can be implemented more quickly and simply in the future.

Improved reliability
This overhaul also contributes to improving the reliability of the supply information. Our buyers frequently express their displeasure with the current state of affairs. That is why several improvements are being introduced with the aim: buyers can rely on the supply information provided at the clock.

Supply of modified orange petunia varieties no longer possible

Royal FloraHolland is adopting the RIKILT findings and preventing the trade in modified orange petunia varieties by blocking the VBN codes.

In the Netherlands, research conducted by RIKILT has found that there are a number of genetically modified orange petunia varieties available. This study was commissioned by the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate.

In Europe, it is forbidden to grow and market genetically modified varieties unless permission to do so has been granted. The petunia varieties that have been identified so far as carrying the genetically modified orange gene are:

  • Viva Orange VBN product code 118676
  • Viva Fire VBN product code 110932
  • Potunia Plus Papaya VBN product code 113269

The following varieties do not have a VBN product code, but can be found on the markets in the Netherlands, Finland or Germany under the following names:

  • Pegasus orange
  • Pegasus Table Orange
  • Pegasus Orange morn
  • Bingo Mandarin
  • Bingo Orange
  • Go!Tunia Orange
  • Salmon Ray
  • Viva orange vein
  • African Sunset
  • Sanguna Salmon

How can we stop the supply?
Based on the outcomes of the above-mentioned research, Royal FloraHolland has decided today not to allow the supply of these varieties. To stop the supply to the marketplaces, we are taking the following measures:

  • The VBN product codes of the products in question can no longer be used.
  • We urgently ask suppliers of the listed varieties not to supply them, in whatever sales channel, so as not to cause trouble for our chain partners.
  • We shall contact growers supplying genetically modified petunia varieties to one of the Royal FloraHolland locations, and ask them to remove the supplied product and stop supplying it.
  • Extra inspections will be conducted in the supply processes to search for products of the genetically modified varieties.

Updating and simplifying product codes Cyclamen from 1 June 2017

The chain has expressed a need for greater clarity regarding product names.
At the request of the Cyclamen product commission and buyers of Cyclamen, we are therefore reducing the number of product codes and making the product names uniform. The new classification of product codes goes into effect on 1 June 2017. This will make it easier for your buyers to market Cyclamen. And that of course benefits you, too! We worked together with breeders to achieve this result.

What will change precisely?

  • The number of product codes is being reduced from 480 to 107;
  • House Cyclamen: the ‘Other Cyclamen’ group is being removed. This group will be replaced by the ‘Cyclamen midi’ group;
  • We are adjusting the official characteristics (S-characteristics) and applying them also to the ‘indoor Cyclamen’ and ‘outdoor Cyclamen’ groups;
  • The clock name abbreviations have been made uniform;
  • With the new product codes the colour is being dropped from the product name. You can specify the colour under code S50.

What action is being asked of you?
Contact your software supplier in plenty of time to have these changes implemented in the systems you use.

New classification for Cyclamen product groups
House Cyclamen                                                           Garden Cyclamen

2 02 007 00 Cyclamen 3 10 207 00 Cyclamen
2 02 007 01 Cyclamen large flowered 3 10 207 01 Cyclamen other
2 02 007 02 Cyclamen small flowered 3 10 207 02 Cyclamen small flowered
2 02 007 03 Cyclamen midi 3 10 207 03 Cyclamen midi

Grading codes for ‘indoor Cyclamen’ and ‘outdoor Cyclamen’

Productgroep nr. GC 1 GC 2 GC 3 GC 4 GC 5 GC 6
2 02 007 00 (House Cyclamen) S01 S04 S50 S05 S54 S02
Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Advised Mandatory
3 10 207 00 (Garden Cyclamen) S01 S04 S50 S05 S54 S02
Mandatory Mandatory Advised Mandatory Advised Mandatory

S01 = Pot size
S04 = Minimum plant diameter
S50 = Flower color
S05 = Maturity stage
S54 = Plant (flower) shape
S02 = Minimum plant height

Enclosure: List of active product codes

Review the quality codes here.