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Imports Special Requirements Tool and User Guide for Plants for Planting

AD guide tool, plants for planting – User instructions

Download tool here.


The AD guide tool is a look up spreadsheet to find the special requirements also known as additional declaration (AD) requirements for plants for planting. It includes current AD requirements under Annex 7 to Great Britain’s Phytosanitary Conditions Regulation (2019/2072). 

The tool consists of five sheets:



The sheets can be used individually as required but to check an application in a systematic way, a step by step approach is suggested as below:

STEP 1 – Use the Xylella freedom list and Xylella hosts sheets toestablish Xylella fastidiosa free countries, areas or places of production and check if the consignment contains Xylella host plants.

STEP 2 – Use the Genus list to check if plants in the consignment require family specific and/or herbaceous ADs.

STEP 3 –Use the ADs sheet to establish the additional declarations that apply to the consignment and compare them to the ADs stated on the phytosanitary certificate for the consignment.

STEP 4 – Use Prohibitions to check for prohibited plants which cannot be imported.

The 4 steps are described in more detail below.

It is the responsibility of the exporting NPPO to understand specific AD requirements in relation to their local situation. Rather than providing specific guidance, advise importers to use the ‘Importers Guide’ to ascertain if the consignment is prohibited or needs a phyto and notification. 


STEP 1 - Establish Xylella fastidiosa AD free areas and check for Xylella hosts

To complete the Xylella fastidiosa checks you need to consider the Xylella status of the country of origin and know if there are Xylella hosts in the consignment. The following applies:

  1. For countries, country areas or places of production that are free from Xylella fastidiosa check that no prohibited Xylella host plants are included in the consignment.
  2. If the country, area or place of production is NOT listed in the Xylella freedom list it is NOT free from Xylella fastidiosa. Import of host plants is prohibited. The consignment should be free of Xylella fastidiosa hosts.

For Xylella hosts specific AD requirements apply. These are listed in the ADs worksheet.

  1. To check county, country areas or place of production status, navigate to the Xylella freedom list (Fig. 1).


2. Select the region and country of origin. The details of the Xylella fastidiosa AD free area is displayed. Xylella fastidiosa freedom can apply to a country, area or place of production


To navigate in the Xylella freedom list follow these instructions:
Selecting an option: Click on a region and country.
Clearing selections: To clear a selection click on the funnel symbol with the red cross (Fig. 3). This will clear the selection and the funnel symbol will no longer show a red cross (Fig. 4).


Figure 3 Selection applied to Africa. Click on funnel with the red cross to clear the selection


Figure 4 Selection no longer applied and red cross not visible. 

NEXT: Go to Xylella hosts.

3. Xylella hosts (Fig. 5) lists all Xylella fastidiosa host plants. Host plants can be at species or genus level. Some Xylella fastidiosa hosts are prohibited from certain origins. Where this is the case it is stated in the ‘Comment’ column. To navigate the list use the filter or scroll down the list to check for hosts.


Figure 5 Xylella hosts

This completes the Xylella fastidiosa check.


NEXT: Go to ADs.


STEP 2 - Use the Genus list to check if plants require family specific and/or herbaceous ADs.

The Genus list includes about 800 genera which are covered by ADs that apply to whole plant families. This applies to plants in the following families: Conifers (Pinales), Palms (Arecaceae), Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae. The Genus list includes all genera for these groups.

The list also includes genera considered herbaceous in terms of plant health risk. Herbaceous genera occur in many plant families and they will require AD 13 and/or 40 for ‘herbaceous species’. If you encounter plants that you would consider herbaceous which are not included in the list send a note of the genus and species to the Imports TAP (ImportsBIG@apha.gov.uk) for consideration.

To check if plants in a consignment require family and/or herbaceous ADs select the first two letters of the genus name in the consignment on the search panel (Fig. 6). To search for more than one genus select the first genus name, then hold the CTRL key and make additional selections as required.


genus name search

Figure 6 Genus name search panel


The selection will be applied (Fig. 7).

genus name selection

Figure 7 Selection applied to a genus name starting with Am


Once selected the result is displayed next to the search panel (Fig. 8).

In this example, the result shows all genera starting with the letters Am that belong to Conifers (Pinales), Palms (Arecaceae), Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae.

The column ‘on herbaceous list?’ shows all the genera that would be considered herbaceous starting with the letters Am. Note that herbaceous genera can occur in other plant families than the four that require specific family ADs. In this example Amaranthus in the Amaranthaceae family and Ambrosia in the Asteraceae family are considered herbaceous.

If a genus in your consignments appears in the list, make a note of the plant family and/or herbaceous AD requirements that apply.

If none of the genera in your consignment appear on the list, no family or herbaceous ADs apply.

genus search results

Figure 8 Genus search results



STEP 3 – Establishing additional declarations for the consignment

The ADs sheet(Fig. 9) contains AD requirements for plants for planting. Most plants for planting will require ADs. These typically include ADs that apply widely across all types of plants from all third countries. Examples include ADs for Thrips palmi and Bemisia tabaci.

In addition, specific ADs can apply to plant groups or specific genera, or to plants from certain origins. Many ADs do not require to be stated on the phyto. If this is the case the comments box will state ‘If phyto issued, this requirement can be taken to be fulfilled – no official statement needed’.

The AD tool will return the relevant ADs based on user selection from four categories:

  1.     Plant category
  2.     EU Consignments
  3.     Origin
  4.     Genus or Family

 AD selection panel

Figure 9 ADs selection panel


Select options from each category as follows:

  1. Plant category: Select one category that matches the consignment.
  2. EU member states imports: Select this option for an EU import. It will automatically set the correct origins in box 3.
    Leave unselected for ROW (Rest of the World) imports.
  3. Origin: No selection required for EU imports. The correct origins (‘A Ds for all third countries’ and ‘EU member states’)are applied by selecting EU consignments in the previous step.
    For ROW imports select the first option ‘A Ds for all Third Countries’. This selects ADs that are generic and apply to all origins. Next select the country of origin if it is listed (hold Ctrl key to make this additional selection). This will add country specific ADs. If the country is not listed or greyed out no country specific ADs apply.
  4. Genus or family: Select ‘A Ds for all genera’. This option selects ADs that apply to all genera. Next select the genus or family if it is listed (hold Ctrl key to make this additional selection). This will add genus and family specific ADs. If the genus or family is not listed or greyed specific ADs apply.
    You will know if you need to select one of the plant families that need an AD based on your results from checking the genus list in STEP 2. The families are Conifers (Pinales), Palms (Arecaceae), Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae. 

    For Xylella host genera select ‘A Ds for all Xylella hosts’ and make any additional genus specific selections if applicable. You will know if you need a Xylella Host AD from checking Xylella requirements in STEP 1.


Once all selections have been applied, all ADs that are relevant to your consignment will be listed below the selection panel.

The information for each AD contains important details as many ADs will have specific requirements on how and where they should be displayed on the phytosanitary certificate. Read the information in all the columns as it allows you to determine if an AD applies to your specific consignment.

Check that the phytosanitary certificate supplied complies with the listed requirements for your consignment.

Each AD entry will also indicate if prohibitions apply. If this is the case, check the Prohibitions for further details.

To navigate in the ADs sheet follow these instructions:

Selecting more than one option: Select the first option, then hold the Ctrl key and select additional options.

Clearing selections: To clear a selection click on the funnel symbol with the red cross (Fig. 10). This will clear the selection and the funnel symbol will no longer show a red cross. (Fig. 11).

click on funnel

Figure 10 Click on the funnel with the red cross to clear a selection. Use the scroll bar to move up and down the table.

selection has been cleared

Figure 11 Selection has been cleared and red cross is no longer visible


Moving up and down tables: Use the scroll bar on the right to move up and down lists (Fig. 12)

scroll bar

Figure 12 Using the scroll bar to move up and down lists.


NEXT: Go to Prohibitions.


STEP 4 - Check for prohibited plants

This part of the tool can be used to check for prohibited plant material. Import prohibitions often apply to specific origins, or plant types (e.g. plants for planting but not fruits, plants with leaves etc.) (Fig. 13). ADs will indicate if prohibitions apply for a specific genus and Prohibitions can be used to establish further details.

Use Prohibitions to check the consignment for material that cannot be imported.


Figure 13 Prohibitions


To navigate the list use the filter or scroll down the list to check for prohibitions.

This completes the AD check for plants for planting.

Check all selections in each sheet of the AD tool have been cleared and close the tool.