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Defra are proposing a new flat rate import fee and changes to the frequency of import checks for plants

As a result of a recent consultation with plant businesses across Great Britain, Defra are looking at introducing two targeted changes to the current plants import regime that will benefit and protect UK plant industries. Both of these changes will come into effect from 22 July, pending final review.

New flat-rate fee

Defra are looking at introducing a new, flat-rate import inspection and identity check fee for plants for planting and cuttings that originate from EU and non-EU countries. The proposed new fee structure will  change to be charged at £32.15 for physical inspection fees and £1.57 for identity check fees. As consulted on, this new fee structure will protect British growing industries by making the costs for importing finished plants the same as it is for importing plants for further growing. 

Aligning the frequencies of plant import checks

From 22 July 2022, Defra are also proposing a new frequency of checks regime for imports of plants for planting and produce, that will further harmonize the inspection rates for these commodities from EU and non-EU origins. 

This new regime will take a scientific approach to balancing biosecurity risk against frictionless border controls for these commodities, ensuring that our approach to targeted inspections remains based on the risk posed to UK biosecurity. 

The proposed new frequencies of checks for these imports can be found here. Note these may be subject to further change and we will be publishing confirmed percentages soon. 

These new frequencies of checks will look to drastically reduce the volume of import inspections on non-EU produce and plants for planting, aligning them as much as possible with EU check levels for high priority plants and plant products.