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Important reminder to pre-notify EU high-priority plants and non-forestry plant products on PEACH

Important reminder to pre-notify EU high-priority plants and non-forestry* plant products on PEACH

It is the responsibility of anyone importing high-priority plants and plant products from outside GB including those from the EU, to ensure that GB import requirements for those goods have been met.

To import high-priority plants and plant products from the EU to GB, the person responsible for the goods must ensure they have obtained a phytosanitary certificate and have correctly pre-notified the consignment on the PEACH system: this also extends to importers who are opting to use the arrangements provided by the multi-drop system. Importers utilising the multidrop system must ensure they pass forward information regarding the Phytosanitary certificate and PEACH application number to off the drop off points for the consignment to ensure goods can be traced back to the notification on PEACH. This provides a direct line of traceability to the relevant plant health authorities. If you are not yet registered for a PEACH account, you can do so here.

For goods to be inspected by the Plant Health services they must be delivered to a registered Place of Destination (PoD). The PoD must be registered with APHA; details of registration and the appropriate form can be found at gov.uk.

Importers can only register PoDs in their own name when they have ownership of that site. Where necessary, importers and PoDs must confirm the business relationship between them to ensure their accounts are linked in PEACH and that valid applications can be completed. This can be completed via email to the PoD registration inbox at PODRegistrations@apha.gov.uk.

Example email statement: As importer X - name and full address, I require to be linked with PoD Y - name and full address in the PEACH system

For high priority goods to enter GB, the importer must ensure they:

  • declare the high-priority goods to be inspected at a valid PoD in PEACH;
  • include the availability time for inspection at the PoD in PEACH, making sure this is within the Service Level Agreement (SLA) times - more details in section below;
  • transport the goods to the specified PoD in due time for inspection by the Plant Health services;
  • provide the import information to the PoD expecting the goods and;
  • keep the PoD informed of the status of the consignment on PEACH.

Failure to correctly pre-notify may result in consignments being held at the Place of Destination until the requirement is met and/or being destroyed. Please note that consignments must not be released until they are discharged by the plant health services (indicated by a green ball in the PEACH system).

Repeat or serious non-compliances will be addressed with effective and proportionate enforcement measures, in line with Defra' enforcement policy statement.

APHA operating hours

In order for SLAs to apply, the inspection time provided in the pre-notification on PEACH must be accurate and those notifications must be submitted:

  • at least 4 working hours before the goods land in GB for air and 'roll-on-roll-off' freight
  • at least 1 working day before the goods arrive in GB for all other freight

APHA will aim to inspect your consignment within 4 working hours of the inspection ready time provided by the importer in their pre-notification. APHA can carry out inspections of consignments registered at PoDs 7 days a week, from 7am to 7pm; where this is not possible, the goods should be held over to the following days for the inspections and clearance of goods to be completely.

For example, if your goods arrive at a PoD after 7pm on a Monday, your goods may not be released until 11am on Tuesday the following day. Plant Health and Seed Inspectors are not present to inspect goods outside of the 7am to 7pm operating hours.

Forestry Commission operating hours

Importers of wood, wood products, and isolated bark must give a forestry inspector advanced notice by completing a notice of landing form.

  • 4 working hours for air cargo and 'roll-on-roll-off freight'
  • 1 working day for any other case

The Forestry Commission will set out to inspect these consignments at PoDs, throughout GB and Scotland, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm 

For further information about APHA or the FC's operating hours, please see a short Q&A for more details.

Additional information

Please view the multi-drop guidance, which outlines the various drop, or multi-drop scenarios many businesses operate under.

Find details on how to register for PEACH and how to complete plant health and HMI PEACH pre-notifications in the PEACH user guide available on the Plant Health Portal.

Lastly, please visit the Plant Health Portal for further instructions and step-by-step videos on how to complete the comma-separated values (CSV) file to record details of imported plant material required for the pre-notification.

Please note, the new imports IT system for plants and plants products is in development and will be introduced from Spring 2021 - replacing the current system, PEACH. More information is available at gov.uk and the Plant Health Portal.

*Forestry products can be defined by those featured in table 3 available here, and prenotification requirements can found at gov.uk.