Importing plants and plant products from the EU
Our summary guide shows which commodities need pre-notification and a PC, and when they will be required, in 2021 and 2022.
High-priority plants and plant products from the EU must have:
a phytosanitary certificate (PC)
a pre-notification submitted by the importer in England, Scotland or Wales for documentary and identity checks
a physical inspection at a Place of Destination (PoD).
Regulated and notifiable plants and plant products from the EU must have:
- been notified using the relevant IT system, so that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or Forestry Commission (FC) know that you’re importing regulated and notifiable plants and plant products.*
Remaining import controls to be set out in the Target Operating Model:
- The Government has announced that the remaining import controls on EU goods, including plants and plant products, will no longer be introduced in July of this year. Instead, traders will continue to move their goods from the EU to GB as they do now. This decision does not affect existing controls that were introduced in January 2021 and January 2022.
- Further information on this can be found here.
GB's phased import regime:
On 14 September 2021, the government set out a new imports regime timeline, which included changes to the timing of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks on imports of live animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products imported to GB from the EU. Find out more about the changes in the Question and Answer guide.
Before importing from the EU, you will need to check:
whether your products are subject to plant health controls
whether your product is high-priority and currently requires a PC and pre-notification
If you are importing high-priority regulated plants, familiarise yourself with the process and actions that you need to take at each step. Make sure you also check the marketing standards in this narrative map and any potential CITES requirements.
Place of Destination (PoD) Scheme:
The PoD scheme has been developed by Defra to facilitate plant health import checks post customs clearance on EU regulated goods inland, to prevent delays and disruption at the border. The scheme will be in place until 30 June 2022. If your consignments are dropped off at different premises or split across lorries, there is specific guidance for you to follow which outlines the PC and pre-notification requirements for different scenarios.
Find out more about the scheme in our Question and Answer Guide. For further operational guidance on the PoD scheme, please see the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) page and the APHA operational hours Question and Answer Guide.
The Government has announced that the remaining import controls on EU goods, including plants and plant products, will no longer be introduced in July of this year. This means that checks do not need to take place at BCPs yet. Further detail will be released in the Target Operating Model which is set to be published in the Autumn of this year.
Read this guidance for loading and packaging best practice.
Watch the BCP and CP webinar.
Find out everything you need to know about CPs in the Question and Answer Guide
Fees and charges:
If you are importing from the EU into GB, there are fees that are applicable for import inspections on high-priority goods. Find out more about the fees and charges in this guidance and see an outline of how charges are calculated.
Traders wishing to import plants and plant products to the UK must meet the registration requirements set out in Article 65 of the Plant Health Regulation 2016/2031.
If you are importing ‘regulated and notifiable’ plants and plant products from the EU (excluding Ireland), Liechtenstein and Switzerland to GB after 1 January 2022, you will need to pre-notify them. If you are new to the process of pre-notifying your goods, please register for and use IPAFFS. If you are currently using PEACH for EU pre-notifications, please continue to do so until directed to move to IPAFFS.
See more guidance on all IT systems.
Import special requirements:
If you are importing plants for planting and produce, there are special requirements, also known as additional declarations (ADs) which you must follow. Use the following tools and guidance to establish these requirements:
Once you have checked the requirements, please follow this guidance to help you understand how these work in practice.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, certain easements were made to help businesses continue to import from the EU. These were in place until 31 December 2021.
Guidance on the risk categorisation of imported plants and plant products is available, with additional information on risk levels of Xylella hosts.