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

Export Narrative for Regulated Plants and Plant Products

Export narrative for regulated plants and plant products (including plants for planting, fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers)


The following are outlined:

5. Arrives in EU




Get ready for export – points to note




If you are a UK Haulier you need to be able to drive in the EU



If you use wooden pallets or wood packaging material to move your goods, these need to be ISPM 15 compliant.

After the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging   material moving between GB and the EU must be treated and appropriately   marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15).

Contact your supplier or TIMCON if you need more advice. There are many sources of wood packaging material – one such list is available here https://www.timcon.org/ISPM15/Companies/ 


Exports to   the EU must comply with EU packaging and labelling requirements   (marketing  standards) – this applies   to fresh fruit and veg only.  



Plant Variety Rights and Seeds

You will also need to make sure that seed and other propagating material is able to be marketed in the EU before exporting.










-       for queries relating to exports covered by the PHEATS scheme, email PHEATS@apha.gov.uk

-       for the export of plant products, email phastplantproducts@apha.gov.uk



To export from GB to the EU you will need a GB EORI number



This action is for the Exporter


To export goods to the EU, you will need a GB EORI number. For further guidance, see: https://www.gov.uk/eori





GB exporter checks EU import requirements in advance


This action is for the Exporter/ Importer


  •   To export your plants, fruit, vegetables or cut flowers to the EU you will need to meet EU   phytosanitary requirements.
  •   You will not be   able to export prohibited goods to the EU, these can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-and-exporting-plants-and-plant-products-from-1-january-2021
  •   The EU has guidance on how to export plants and plant products to the EU and this contains   information related to regulated plants (those that require PCs)  See:


  •   You may also need to check whether the goods you are exporting are subject to EU emergency measures. This includes commodities such as Capsicum for Spodoptera, or host   plants of Xylella. See:
  •   https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/‌plant_health_biosecurity/legislation/emergency_measures_en
  •   Some plants, fruit, vegetables and cut flowers must also meet special   requirements to prove they are free from pests (and pests includes diseases) before import. These can include growing season inspections and lab   tests. This means they can’t be exported unless they meet those special requirements. Proof of this will need to be included on the PC. To find out more contact your local plant health inspector
  •   A special requirement will often have several options to choose from. If the goods are   of GB origin, it is up the GB competent authority to determine which option is most applicable; the CA may discuss this with you as part of the PC application process.



Are you exporting goods not of GB origin?







This action is for the Exporter/ Importer


  •   When importing goods to then export them on to the EU, there may need to be requirements in place before importing those   goods into GB.
  •   If the material is liable to special   requirements from the EU it will need to meet the special requirements (additional declarations) of the EU, even prior to that export. Information   proving this will need to be provided on the original import PC to GB, even if GB does not have those requirements. It is the accountability of the GB exporter to source that information and provide the import PC on application for an export one.
  •   If you do not have the original PC with any special requirements of the EU addressed on that PC then your goods may not be able  to be exported to the EU.
  •   If there are no special requirements then you will only need a GB PC to export to the EU (not any other, ie EU, one)
  •   In all cases a GB PC will be required to export these goods to the EU


Exporter to register as a professional operator on relevant GB Competent Authority (CA)   IT system.








This action is for the Exporter


  •   The exporter, and exporter’s agent (where applicable), needs to register on the relevant export notification system for plant health purposes before exporting to ensure   there are no delays to the consignment.
  •   In early 2021 the   IT systems used to apply for an export phytosanitary certificate for plants   and plant products will be changing, moving from eDomero to the Apply for a   Phyto- sanitary Certificate Service.
  •   You should   continue to use eDomero to the Plant Health Export Service (PHES)
  •   Until Scotland has access to the Apply for a Phyto- sanitary Certificate Service.  
  •   – for exports from Scotland please visit: https://www.sasa.gov.uk/eu-exit-guidance-plant-health

Or email: hort.marketing@gov.scot 




Importer to register on TRACES NT


This action is for the importer 


The importer and the importers agent need to register on TRACES NT in order pre-notify the import to the EU CA   






Fruit and vegetable Marketing Standards:


Export process post 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021 all exports of fruits and vegetables covered by specific marketing standards (SMS) to EU (and existing Third Countries) will require a certificate of conformity prior to export.

To   apply for a GB-issued certificate of conformity:

  • use the PEACH system (England and Wales)
  • contact SASA Horticulture and Marketing Unit at hort.marketing@gov.scot (Scotland)

You   must comply with the third country import requirements as defined in the EU marketing standards regulations if you export fruit and vegetables from GB to   the EU from 1 January 2021.

Approved Trader Scheme:

If a trader consistently meets the requirements of the latest marketing standards, they can apply to the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate for approved trader status. This applies to traders who sell fruit and veg that they either grow, pack, import   or export.

ATS   status means that traders are considered as lowest risk, and will attract fewer inspection visits and fewer checks on any regulated produce marketed by that business and stored at their premises, whether for importing, exporting or   within Great Britain. In addition they will, in most cases, automatically be issued with a certificate of conformity without inspection.   

For more information about ATS, contact:

  • HMI by emailing APHAHMIATSapproval@apha.gov.uk (England and Wales)
  • SASA’s Horticulture and Marketing Unit by emailing hort.marketing@gov.scot (Scotland)

Approved Inspection Service (AIS):

The UK has applied to the EU to become an AIS country. This is likely to be granted by 1 Jan 2021. This   means that a certificate of conformity for GB grown produce will be accepted at the EU border for release into free circulation within the EU.

For products of non-UK origin whilst a certificate of conformity is required for export, further checks may also be required at the EU border, exporters will need to prepare for these requirements by checking with the EU country of import.


  •   SMS commodities – apples, pears, grapes, kiwis, citrus, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, lettuce,   tomatoes, sweet peppers





Exporter applies   for Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) on relevant GB CA system 7 days in advance of export


This action is for the Exporter/Importer


  •   Exporters should apply for a PC from their CA. APHA is the CA for England and Wales and Scottish Govt is the CA for   Scotland. In England and Wales this will be through PHES  in Scotland it is via the Scottish Govt.
  •   CAs will aim to ensure a phytosanitary certificate will be issued by the date requested, providing that a properly completed application form is provided seven working days in advance of the export. This will allow time for the inspector to visit, inspect and have the phytosanitary certificate issued.
  •   A PC will either be issued on site by an   inspector or by the CIT    
  •   Where applicable exporters should include any relevant treatment documents, original PCs from other countries (if any goods are not of GB origin) and packing lists.
  • Exporters should apply for their phytosanitary certificates using PHES, except for certain infrequently used commodities (e.g. clay and mychorrhizal material). 
  • If you're exporting used agricultural or forestry Machinery you can now use the Plant Health Export Service. Please see gov.uk for further information 
  •   Fees for exports are on gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-plants-seeds-bulbs-and-wood-special-rules



GB CA receives   and processes PC application


This action is for the GB CA


  •   GB CA will review the application.
  •   The CA will check if all the plant health export requirements will be met by what is proposed in the application.
  •   Special requirements checks and what options will be included.
  •   GB CA will contact the exporter to confirm if the application is correct and agree a time for inspection or request further information.



GB CA carries out physical inspection


This action is for the GB CA


  •   A GB CA check may involve a physical inspection of the goods or require a sample to be sent for lab diagnosis. Exporters should allow for sufficient time for inspections and lab diagnosis   to be completed before export.
  •   To perform checks a representative sample of each line on the PC application within the whole consignment will be required, as declared on the PC.
  •   You can only have one consignment (load/destination) on a PC.



Do all goods meet the importing country’s requirements?








This action is for the GB CA

  •   If not all goods meet the requirements then appropriate options will be taken by the GB CA in discussion with the exporter.
  •   This may include removal of the non-compliant material and may result in a re-inspection (to note any re-inspection will attract additional fees). 


Does the GB CA issue a PC?


This action is for the GB CA


  •   PCs are issued by APHA or the Scottish Govt.  
  •   If a consignment cannot meet the EU import requirements, then a PC will not be issued and export cannot occur. 




GB CA issues PC to exporter so that it can be included with the consignment


These actions are for the Exporter/importer


  •   PCs that are not issued on site are sent via 1st class mail




GB Exporter notifies EU importer



These actions are for the Exporter/importer


  •   Exporter provides importer with details of the PC so that the importer can make the   pre-notification on TRACES NT  




Importer/Agent completes Pre-Notification to EU CA on TRACES NT








These actions are for the Exporter/importer



  •   Importer and/or agent needs to be registered to use TRACES NT
  •   Goods must enter through a plant health approved Border Control Post.

A list of   approved BCPs can be found in the link below:



  •   For goods being exported by air then 4 hours pre-notification must be given prior to arrival, for all other modes of transport then 24 hours’ notice must be given. 





Exporter/agent completes export customs declaration on CHIEF/CDS 


These actions are for the Exporter/importer 


Exporter sends goods

These actions are for the Exporter/importer


  •   The original PCs must, in the absence of agreed Covid easements, travel with the consignment



Importer/Agent completes import customs declaration on EU MS Customs platform



These actions are for the Exporter/importer






Goods arrive at   EU BCP


Actions that need to be taken at the EU Border




Are the goods selected for a

documentary inspection?


Actions that need to be taken at the EU Border



  •   If the goods are selected for documentary checks the EU CA will carry out a document check on the phytosanitary certificate to ensure that it conforms to the import requirements and fulfils the criteria for the material imported.



Goods are held until correct

documents can be produced


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority


  •   If your goods are held for documentary reasons, this should be communicated to you by the EU Importer.
  •   APHA may be able to issue a replacement PC, but this is dependent on the reason for the goods being held.
  •   If goods don't pass the doc check and/or a replacement certificate can’t be issued, the goods may be destroyed.



Are goods selected for physical and identity checks?


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority


  •   Physical and identity checks consist of visual inspections of goods to ensure they are pest free   and to verify the content and labelling of a consignment correspond to   information provided on the PC. These checks also confirm the amounts of the   goods, to ensure the correct quantity of the consignment.
  •   Identity checks are linked with the physical inspection.




Do goods require laboratory testing?


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority


  •   An EU CA may carry out a lab test if goods  are suspected to be infested with a quarantine pest or disease. The goods may be held on site without tampering until the results have been received.



Do goods pass all physical and identity checks (including lab tests)?


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority



  •   If goods pass the checks then the process continues
  •   If they don’t pass, the goods will be seized, re-exported or destroyed. Occasionally the goods may be processed to remove the risk.  



EU CA updates EU system with outcome of inspection


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority



EU system receives update and EU CA decides if goods can be released?

Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority 


  •   To note goods may be held at the border other reasons such as fraud, smuggling, non payment of a tariff




Goods are released to the importer 

Action to be taken by EU Border


  •   Certain goods, for example, plants for planting will require a plant passport to be issued upon release from the BCP if they are being moved within the EU. 



Goods arrive at destination.


Action to be taken by EU Border





This is the end of the process.