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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Guidance on moving plants and plant products between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI):

Since the end of the transition period, EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) rules continue to apply in NI under the Northern Ireland Protocol, upholding the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.  

This means that since 1 January 2021, all regulated plants and plant products, including seeds, moving from GB to NI are required to meet the EU’s third country import requirements.  

As such, these goods must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC), in accordance with internationally agreed standards on plant health. 

In recognition of these new requirements, the government have put in place a number of temporary operational measures to provide support to individuals and businesses moving goods to NI. 

This includes the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS), which provides dedicated helpdesk support to those wishing to move plants and plant products (and other agri-food goods) from GB to NI. Additionally, MAS covers the associated plant health inspection and certification costs that would otherwise be incurred by your business prior to leaving GB. 

There are pragmatic arrangements for the movement of plants with growing media attached, as well as used agricultural and forestry machinery, from GB to NI. These temporary operational measures have been introduced to address certain specific practical issues that have emerged, without compromising biosecurity on the island of Ireland, while discussions continue with the EU on appropriate, risk-based arrangements for the long-term. 

Additionally, the Plant Health Export Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS) is a trade facilitation scheme that benefits those that export cut flowers and fresh produce (excluding ware potatoes) to the EU or move them from GB to NI. PHEATS allows for trade to undertake phytosanitary export inspections and apply for PCs themselves online, in place of APHA inspectors. This enables products to keep moving while they are at their freshest, helping with just in time logistics.  

There is also an arrangement in place allowing authorised traders, such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers, to move some goods from GB to NI without the need for official certification. 

To move seed from GB to NI please follow this guidance.

Qualifying NI goods (QNIGs) can continue to move from NI to GB in the same way as they did before 1 January 2021.