Frequently Asked Questions
What is meant by direct entry into TRACES NT?
The phytosanitary certificate is the health certificate for plants and plant products. It is required to accompany consignments of plants and plant products entering the European Union from non-EU countries. The TRACES NT trade platform allows authorities in GB to issue the PC information directly into the TRACES NT platform, providing a safe and secure method of transmitting phytosanitary information to the EU Member States (MS).
Will I still need to have an original paper certificate travel with my consignment?
No, as the information will be transmitted securely to EU MS all phytosanitary information will be able to be retrieved by the EU importing country to allow any subsequent checks to be undertaken. You will however, be provided with a reference number that will allow your importer in the EU to make the necessary pre-notification and retrieve the PC information.
Why have you not implemented this from the end of the Implementation Period?
Due to the ongoing challenges the industry was facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic the EU published an implementing regulation that allowed for the performance of official controls and other official activities including the provision of scanned PCs , as a temporary measure, to be provided for at the point of import. This regulation allowed for the use of electronic copies of phytosanitary certificates to be provided until the 30th August 2021. With these temporary measures now coming to an end the intention is to provide the phytosanitary information through direct entry into TRACES NT.
Is this ePhyto?
No, this is a separate solution alongside the ePhyto that the EU have implemented to allow for electronic certification. However, it only applies to the EU and cannot be used for other non-EU countries.
Why are you not using ePhyto?
For plants and plant products the UK government remains focused on our intention to utilise ePhyto as a solution for both the importing and exporting of plant and plant products in the long term for international trading partners. This is our priority for the next stage of development following the implementation of the new IT services in 2021.
As an exporter do I need to register for TRACES NT?
No, you will not be required to register for TRACES NT.
As an exporter will I continue to use eDomero and PHES to make my export application?
Yes, you will continue to use the existing systems you are currently using in order to submit an export application.
Is there anything extra I will need to do as exporter?
As an exporter you will still be required to submit your export application on either eDomero or PHES. There will be extra information that will be required as part of your application such as the nett weight of each individual commodity and the number of packages for each commodity, as well as who will be responsible for submitting the pre-notification in TRACES NT. This is required information that is needed by the EU to be able to create the phytosanitary certificate in TRACES NT.
To enable the Centre for International Trade (CIT) to directly enter information into TRACES NT, they will require the details of the person responsible for the consignment (e.g. customs clearing agent) in the destination country. Please find the pro-forma for this here. The more information you can provide will enable the application to be processed faster.
Why do I need to know the person responsible for the consignment?
This information is required as part of a TRACES NT application so that the person responsible can retrieve the information as it is only made available to the person you have designated. You will need to ask your trading partners for the TRACES NT operator details of the person creating the CHEDD-PP (name, country and address).
What if the person responsible for the consignment or the importer is not registered on TRACES NT?
APHA will create a new operator for the purposes of declaring this in the phytosanitary certificate, however individuals working for that operator will need to request access rights to the newly created operator from the relevant competent authority.
How long does it take to enter information into TRACES NT?
Once a correct application has been submitted on eDomero or PHES and where applicable an inspection carried out, the information will be entered into TRACES NT. The time taken to enter the information is dependent on the number of commodities for each application. This is why a properly completed application form needs to be provided, as is currently the case, 7 working days in advance of the export, this will allow time for the inspector to visit, inspect and take samples if required for lab testing and have the phytosanitary information entered into TRACES NT.
What is the process flow for Phyto in TRACES NT from Third Country to EU?
The flow diagram here shows how third countries interact with the Phyto module in TRACES NT. Once APHA have validated and signed a PC in TRACES NT, at the EU Border, the person responsible for the consignment clones the PC as a CHED-PP, enabling the BCP in the EU to complete and record the outcome of controls.
How does this affect Just in Time trade?
For exporters who are registered under the Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS) once a correct application has been submitted the information will be entered directly into TRACES NT. This will allow for the phytosanitary information to be transmitted to the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) in the EU once the TRACES NT application has been submitted.
What happens if there is an omission on the PC and it needs replacing?
Should a PC need replacing, then this can be produced by amending the current application and could be transmitted straight to the EU NPPO, rather than having to wait for another original paper certificate to be couriered or sent to the EU Member State.
If I’m exporting used farm machinery to the EU, what should I put as country of origin in the pro-forma and on my PHES application?
On a phytosanitary certificate, place of origin refers to where a consignment gains its phytosanitary status, i.e. where it could have been exposed to possible infestation or contamination by pests. In the case of used farm machinery, this will therefore be where the machinery has been used, not the country of manufacture. For example, if a piece of farm machinery was manufactured in Germany, but then used in the UK before export, the country of origin on the PHES application and Traces pro-forma would need to be the UK.
Are the devolved authorities and the Forestry Commission using direct entry into TRACES NT?
The use of TRACES NT to produce and transmit the PC information does not preclude the continued use of original paper certificates.
Is this a permanent solution for trade with the EU?
No, the UK government remains focused on our intention to utilise ePhyto as a solution for both the importing and exporting of plant and plant products in the long term for international trading partners. This is our priority for the next stage of development following the implementation of the new IT services in 2021.
Are EU MS and the EU Commission aware of this change?
Yes, both the EU Commission and the EU Member States have been informed of the intention to use the direct entry into TRACES NT.
When will this approach be used?
Direct entry into TRACES NT will commence from 01 September, as this is when the existing COVID 19 arrangements will come to an end.