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.
GMP+ International addresses that the low water levels will lead to temporary measures, such as the creation of sufficient storage and transport capacity.
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. This could lead to insufficient GMP+ assured storage and transport capacity for GMP+ FSA participants. GMP+ International was asked by stakeholders to cooperate in resolving this specific bottlenecks.
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) and gatekeeper protocol for storage and transshipment (GMP+ BA10, Annex 10). 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.
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.
In addition to the aforementioned, the participants who use these temporary measures must observe the following:
- 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.
- The participant must apply the protocols correctly and be able to demonstrate the correct implementation thereof to its GMP+ auditor.
- No exemption is required to apply these protocols.
These measures are effective immediately and shall, in principle, remain in effect until 1 April 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.