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Export of High Risk Plants to the EU

High Risk Plant Dossiers

Last Updated: 07/12/2021

The EU has a list of high-risk plants (HRPs) in Annex I of Regulation 2018/2019 which are prohibited from export to the EU pending a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Due to Northern Ireland remaining part of the EU’s Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) zone, it also implements Regulation 2018/2019.

Since the 1st January 2021 these prohibitions have applied to Great Britain, which means the relevant list of HRPs cannot be exported to the EU or moved to Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the UK was not able to submit dossiers until after this date.

In order to overturn a prohibition it is necessary for a country to submit a detailed technical dossier; a summary of the information which needs to be included in the dossier is available in this EFSA report. In order to complete a dossier information must be provided both by Defra and the trade, and dossiers cannot be submitted without trade input.

Defra is working closely with the Plant Health Advisory Forum (PHAF) of relevant horticultural and forestry trade bodies to ensure that dossiers are prioritised according to the needs of stakeholders and to ensure that the relevant trade information is provided. 

Once completed a dossier will be submitted to the European Commission, who in turn will ask EFSA to prepare a risk assessment for the specific trade covered by the dossier. Defra has no control over the time taken by the European Commission to review a dossier and the resulting assessment, but it is likely to take more than a year. The outcome of the process is uncertain, and the European Commission will use the EFSA assessment to decide whether the relevant prohibition should continue or whether specific import conditions should be introduced for the trade concerned.

A diagram outlining the process for HRP dossiers, from information being collated, to the market being opened, is below. The steps in blue are performed by the European Commission and EFSA. Defra has no control over the timeline of these steps.


 HRP Process Map2


 Table 1:  Dossiers submitted to the European Commission.  This will be updated on a rolling basis.


Date Submitted

Receipt acknowledged

Malus domestica



Ligustrum japonicum/L. delavayanum




Table 2: the list of relevant genera and their current status. This will be updated on a rolling basis. We are prioritising genera based off information provided to us by members of the PHAF.


Pest list (Defra)

Trade information

Malus, Prunus, Acer, Cornus, Salix, Crataegus, Sorbus, Ligustrum



Corylus, Quercus, Taxus, Berberis, Jasminium, Lonicera Hamamelis, Robinia

In progress


Fagus, Betula, Populus, Tilia, Ulmus,

(trade have expressed interest)

Not started


Acacia, Albizia, Alnus, Annona, Bauhinia, Caesalpinia, Cassia, Castanea, Diospyros, Ficus carica, Fraxinus, Nerium, Persea, Juglans, plants of Ullucus tuberosus, Wood of Ulmus, fruits of Momordica

(trade have not expressed interest)

Not started