BETA Your feedback will help us improve the UK Plant Health Information Portal

Guidance: Phytosanitary certificate and pre-notification requirements for Place of Destination (PoD) ‘multi-drop’ consignments, and consignments split across lorries

Guidance: Phytosanitary certificate and pre-notification requirements for Place of Destination (PoD) ‘multi-drop’ consignments, and consignments split across lorries

Updated: 29/01/2021

Glossary

  • PoD = Place of Destination
  • PP = Plant Passport
  • PC = Phytosanitary Certificate
  • RoRo = Roll On Roll Off 
  • Multi-drop = a single imported consignment, composed of goods for more than one customer or destination 
  • Exporter = a person, or company, that sends goods to another country for sale
  • Importer = a person, or company, that brings goods in from another country for sale 
  • Consignment = a batch of goods destined for or delivered to someone
  • Consignee = the person, or company, in the importing country responsible for the consignment

 

Background

The Place of Destination (PoD) scheme has been developed and introduced as a contingency measure due to UK border infrastructure not being fully prepared for 1 January 2021. The PoD scheme facilitates checks on EU high-priority plants and plant products inland, away from the border and at a premise which suits business need, to minimise the risk of border disruption as the transition period ends. The PoD scheme will remain in place until 30 June 2021, or until such time as the BCPs are full operable at the border. A key aim of the PoD scheme is to enable biosecurity driven import inspections on EU regulated goods, without adding additional burden on business. 

It is common practice for lorries to enter GB through Roll On Roll Off ports carrying plants and plant products imported by different operators (or in some cases the same operator) and destined for separate business premises, with parts of the load being dropped off at different premises along its route. 

Defra have been working closely with the industry to understand how this multi-drop practice operates currently, and how it can remain viable under the PoD scheme with minimal burden to industry. 

This guide outlines three scenarios that illustrate how the multi-drop practice may apply to your business, the phytosanitary certificate and pre-notification requirements, and any subsequent plant passporting implications for each scenario:

  • Scenario 1 – one lorry contains plant consignments from one exporter for multiple importers destined for different PoDs/groupage
  • Scenario 2 – one lorry contains plant consignments for one importer intended for multiple PoDs/groupage, under the ‘distribution centre’ logistics model
  • Scenario 3 – one lorry contains plant consignments for one importer intended for multiple PoDs/groupage, under the ‘direct delivery’ logistics model
  • Scenario 4 – one consignment for one importer split across multiple lorries destined for multiple PoDs under the ‘direct delivery’ logistics model.
  • Scenario 5 – one consignment for one importer split across multiple lorries destined for one PoD

 

All scenarios allow for one lorry to drop off consignments along a route, providing industry more flexibility in logistics planning. The lorry is not obligated to remain at a PoD until the plant health import controls have been completed. However, if a non-compliance is detected and statutory action is required, it is the importer’s responsibility to arrange for any necessary logistics to fulfil this e.g. destruction/re-export of the consignment. 

Scenario 1: One lorry contains plant consignments from one or multiple exporter(s) for multiple importers destined for different PoDs

Pre-notification and PC requirements

In this scenario, each separate consignment destined for each PoD premises must have a PC and prenotification submitted to the relevant plant health service by each importer. Labelling and marking of each separate consignment in the lorry must be clear to make sure that consignments do not get mixed together. Each consignment, once at its respective PoD, must not be split until the necessary import controls have been performed. 

In practice, this means the lorry can drop each distinct consignment covered by a PC and importers pre-notification at each PoD along a route, providing more flexibility. 

Plant passporting requirements

Unless each place of destination is a retailer selling direct to customers, the PoD will need to be PP authorised for any onward movement of plant passported goods. 

Scenario 2: One lorry contains plant consignments for one importer intended for multiple customers/retail stores etc, under the ‘distribution centre’ logistics model

Distribution centre model

Where a single lorry, containing plants for one importer, is routed into a distribution centre from which orders are dispatched to customers/retail stores etc. This could cover large scale retailers, or large scale growers who take on importing responsibilities on behalf of their customers.  

Pre-notification and PC requirements

In this scenario, the distribution centre would act as the PoD, the plant health import controls would be performed there. The importer may use one PC to accompany the consignment to the PoD, with only one pre-notification required. 

Plant passporting requirements

The distribution centre acting as the PoD would not qualify as a retailer selling goods directly to customer, therefore the distribution centre will need to be PP authorised for any onward movement of plant passported goods. 

Scenario 3: One lorry contains plant consignments for one importer intended for multiple PoDs, under the ‘direct delivery’ logistics model Direct delivery logistics model 

Where a single lorry, containing the plants for one importer, delivers direct to multiple PoDs (which may or may not be retail stores). This could cover large scale retailers, or a producer organisation who take on importing responsibilities on behalf of growers. The PoDs may be separate customers of the importer. 

Pre-notification and PC requirements

In this scenario, the importer may use one PC to accompany the consignment and require one prenotification for only one PoD. The importer must select either the first customer/retailer in the sequence of deliveries to act as the PoD, or if there are higher risk species in the load, the first drop in receipt of those higher risk species. The importer is responsible for making sure the correct PoD is notified to the relevant plant health service, if higher risk species are present in the consignment. 

In practice, this means the PC will effectively cover the consignment being split and dropped off at multiple premises. A representative sample of the consignment will be inspected at the designated PoD, recognising that the full consignment may be spread between multiple sites. This means less administrative burden for importers in pre-notifying separate drops of what is effectively the same consignment, and lower overall costs as only one PC is required. 

For traceability purposes, the importer must provide all customers/retailers in the sequence of deliveries with:

  • The PEACH application number covering the consignment, and/or;
  • The Phytosanitary Certificate identification number

The customer/retailer should include this information with the delivery note. 

Your local inspector may contact you to request further information, including a list of all the premises you are dropping consignments off at, for that application.

If a pest or disease is suspected, a trace forward or trace back exercise will be undertaken by the plant health inspectorate to identify the remainder of that consignment and apply necessary biosecurity measures. If trace forward or back activity is required, your inspector will notify you of what information you must provide. 

Plant passporting requirements

Retail stores acting as PoDs would not require PP authorisation, due to the goods being sold direct to the final consumer. Plants may move to each respective retail store under the PC, with no requirement for PP authorisation. 

If the customers/PoDs are not retail stores, they will need to be PP authorised for any onward movement of plant passported goods. 

Scenario 4 – one consignment for one importer split across multiple lorries destined for multiple PoDs under the ‘direct delivery’ logistics model.

Pre-notification and PC requirements

In this scenario, a plant health consignment may be split across multiple lorries due to the size of the load. An importer may use one PC to cover the consignment across the multiple lorries, and make one pre-notification for the consignment for only one PoD. The importer must select either the first customer/retailer in the sequence of deliveries to act as the PoD, or if there are higher risk species in the load, the first drop in receipt of those higher risk species. The importer is responsible for making sure the correct PoD is notified to the relevant plant health service, if higher risk species are present in the consignment. In practice, this means the PC will effectively cover the consignment being split and dropped off at multiple premises. A representative sample of the consignment will be inspected at the designated PoD, recognising that the full consignment will be spread between multiple sites.

For traceability purposes, the importer must provide all customers/retailers in the sequence of deliveries with:

  • The PEACH application number covering the consignment, and/or;
  • The Phytosanitary Certificate identification number

The customer/retailer should include this information with the delivery note. 

Your local inspector may contact you to request further information, including a list of all the premises you are dropping consignments off at, for that application.

This means less administrative burden for importers in pre-notifying separate drops of what is effectively the same consignment, and lower overall costs as only one PC is required. However, if a pest or disease is suspected, a trace forward or trace back exercise will be undertaken by the plant health inspectorate to identify the remainder of the consignment covered by the PC and apply necessary biosecurity measures to the consignment as a whole. If trace forward or back activity is required, your inspector will notify you of what information you must provide.

For EU multi-drop consignments only, the PC is only valid for 14 days after issuance by the exporting country and all parts must arrive into GB within this time frame. See Imports from EU guidance for phyto validity for non-multi-drop imports.

Plant passporting requirements

In this scenario, retailers acting as a PoD would not require PP authorisation for onward movement, due to the goods being sold direct to the final consumer. If the PoD is not a retail store, then they will need to be PP authorised for any onward movement of plant passported goods.

Scenario 5 - one consignment for one importer split across multiple lorries destined for one PoD

Pre-notification and PC requirements

In this scenario, a plant health consignment may be split across multiple lorries due to the size of the load. An importer may use one PC to cover the consignment across the multiple lorries, and make one pre-notification for the consignment. However, the full consignment must be made available for the inspection at the place of destination detailed on the pre-notification. The inspector must have access to the full consignment, across all lorries, to perform a physical check in this scenario, to make sure the inspection is proportionate to biosecurity risk. If one of the lorries is delayed, the importer is responsible for notifying the plant health authority of any delays, to make sure the inspector does not arrive on site before all goods are available and presented for inspection. The goods must remain on site until the whole consignment is present and the inspector has taken a decision to release the plant goods. 

A phytosanitary certificate, once issued by the exporting country, is valid for 14 days. All parts of the consignment forming the multidrop must have arrived in GB within the 14 day time period of the PC being issued.

Plant passporting requirements 

In this scenario, retailers acting as a PoD would not require PP authorisation for onward movement, due to the goods being sold direct to the final consumer. If the PoD is not a retail store, then they will need to be PP authorised for any onward movement of plant passported goods.

Further information

Detailed guidance on the post transition period arrangements for EU plants and products, for both imports and GB plant passporting, can be found at gov.uk here.

Alternatively, please contact: planthealtheuexitqueries@defra.gov.uk