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Marketing Standards

Marketing standards narrative map (Import and Export of Fruit and Vegetables between GB and EU Subject to Marketing Standards)

Last Updated 17/12/2020

Content on this page:


Points to note:

Get ready for import/export – points to note

Web Links

For exports if you are a UK Haulier you need to be able to drive in   the EU

Plant health requirements for both import and export also apply to most   Fruit and Vegetables

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

If you use wooden pallets or wood packaging material to export 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: 


Importing Fruits and Veg from EU to GB


Import to GB

Note: There will be no changes to the GB imports for marketing standards until July 2021.



If you import, pack, distribute or sell Fruit or Veg, you must follow quality and labelling rules.

If you import Fruits and Veg and   green bananas from the EU into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales),   marketing standards processes at GB borders will change from 1 July 2021.


EU exporter applies for an EU EORI number to export to GB.


This action is for the EU exporter

  •   This is a customs requirement.
  •   Every EU business exporting goods will need an EORI number from a customs authority in the EU even if they use a forwarder   or a customs agent for export declarations.
  •   A business can apply for an EORI number from customs authorities across the EU.

The link is here


EU exporter checks GB requirements


This action is for the EU exporter

  •   Consider if your goods are subject to marketing standards

  •   Consider the   pre-notification requirements for your goods under plant health   regulations 
  •   Is my plant notifiable? Please refer to the Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 legislation -  Schedule 10 Part A sets out the list of plants and products that will need to be pre-notified from April. This same list will then require physical inspections at a BCP from July 2021.
  •   If your goods are notifiable under plant health requirements you will need to apply for a Phytosanitary Certificate and pre-notify from April.
  •   If the plant product is not notifiable there will be no changes until July



  EU exporter to register as a professional operator on EU CA system


This action is for the EU Exporter

Anyone who exports to GB will need to be registered with the EU CA. They need to contact their EU CA. Contact points are available for Member States (MSs) on the


  Is the importer registered on IPAFFS system?


This step is for the importer

  •   The importer and importer’s agent, needs to register on IPAFFS for marketing standards purposes prior to importing to   ensure no delays to the consignment.
  •   Some Fruits and Veg are also regulated plant products and these will require pre-notification on IPAFFS from April.
  •   From July, even if your Fruit and Veg generally does not require pre-notification from a plant health perspective there is a possibility that CHIEF/CDS will select them for checking and then require   pre-notification.
  •   This additional requirement for   pre-notification applies to a small sample of non-notifiable plants for plant   health plus a small sample of General Marketing Standards (GMS) and a small   sample of Specific Marketing Standards (SMS) Fruit and Veg (whether already notified or not) for HMI so it is prudent to have registered on the new IPAFFS IT service as soon as practicable in order to reduce delays.
  •   If your Fruits and Veg lands/arrives in England or Wales you will need to use the new IPAFFS IT service.
  •   Please note, if it lands in Scotland the Scottish Gov do not use IPAFFS IT service, so exporters would need to follow the relevant registration processes for Scottish Government until they have access.
  •   Pre-notification will be required for all HMI SMS good from Jan 2023. Notification for GMS goods will only be required if requested to do so following the import declaration.  




Import to GB


1Jan – 30 Jun 2021

  •   Current third country processes remain the same for those countries,   including those which have retained AIS status as per annex IV of EC reg 543/2011.
  •   For produce of EU origin, we will not be inspecting Specific Marketing   Standards (SMS) or General Marketing Standards (GMS) Fruit and Veg during this time.
  •   An EU issued   certificate of conformity will not be required for release into free   circulation into GB.


1   July 2021 – 1 Jan 2023

  • Using the notification that the importer makes on CHIEFS/CDS for customs, a small sample of imports from the EU (SMS, GMS and green bananas) will be selected for checks to ensure they are complying with GB marketing standards.
  •   CHIEF / CDS will randomly select this small sample for GB certificate of conformity with an error report on the Customs entry – this means you need to have a marketing standards check.  Traders will then apply through the new IPAFFS IT   service, if they have not already done so and these will be physically inspected at the border and GB CoC will be issued, before release into free circulation can occur as edible Fruit and Veg.
  •   An EU issued   certificate of conformity will not be required for release into free circulation into GB.


Between 1 Jan 2021 and 31 Dec 2022

  •   EU countries can apply for UK Approved Inspection Service (AIS) as under Art 15 of EU reg 543/2011, to become listed as an AIS.  


From Jan 23 onwards

  •   All SMS plant products and green bananas imported from the EU will need to be pre-notified for HMI  purposes on   the new IPAFFS IT service
  •   All SMS will need to be accompanied by a certificate of conformity from an EU country that has AIS status or apply for one   at the GB border.
  •   If the country does not   have AIS status then the SMS plant product will be subject to a risk assessment within the new IPAFFS IT service. This assessment will either result in the issue of a GB certificate of conformity or flag to the HMI/Scottish government that a conformity check is needed at the border - this is akin to existing 3rd country process.
  •   For GMS products, a small sample of imports from the EU will be selected for checks to ensure they are complying with GB marketing standards.


  •   SMS commodities – apples, pears, grapes, kiwis, citrus, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet peppers
  •   GMS commodities - covers most other Fruits and Veg.




Import to GB



EU exporter applies for CoC from EU  CA



This action is for the exporter


  •   There will be a different processes in   different Member States (MSs) so the EU exporter will need to contact the Marketing   Standards Competent Authority in their Member State.
  •   The following steps and processes are largely   similar in each MS

Note: you will need a separate CoC for every separate consignee/destination


EU CA receive and process CoC application



These actions are for the EU Competent Authority


Fees may apply in some Member States and may differ between Member   States but processes will largely be the same



EU CA carries out conformity check


These actions are for the EU Competent Authority

This may or may not require a physical inspection.



EU CA issues CoC to EU exporter to include with the consignment



These actions are for the EU Competent Authority


  •   As a result of the inspection the CoC may not be issued in which case the export cannot occur.  
  •   If the CoC is issued, then go to next step.





EU exporter notifies GB importer      




The EU exporter may provide a copy of the CoC to the GB importer but this is not essential until Jan 2023 when a CoC will be required   for movement in GB (either via an EU CoC from an AIS country of a GB CoC   issued at the GB border).



Import to GB




From July – you need to submit imports declaration on CHIEF/CDS



These actions are for the importer


  •   Import declarations for all Fruits and Veg are deferred for the first 6 months as Fruits and Veg goods are not on the controlled list until July.
  •   This means that between January and July you can choose to either make a simplified (frontier) customs declaration and provide a supplementary   declaration within 6 months of import OR use existing customs process to complete a full imports declaration at the point of entry to GB. 




Import to GB





Goods arrive in GB


Actions that need to be taken at the GB Border


  •   From July 2021 a small sample of SMS and GMS Fruit and Veg will be selected from declarations to Customs and require a certificate of conformity at the border. If selected importer will need to notify CA via IPAFFS or contact Scottish Government.





From April


Plant health checks



Actions to be taken by the GB Competent Authority

  •   From April some fruit and Veg is classed as notifiable and is already notified on IPAFFS and subject to documentary checks (checking of the EU Phytosanitary Certification)
  •   Documentary checks take place at the office and is not a physical check.
  •   From July, in addition to checks on Fruit and Veg already notifiable, a small sample of Fruit & Veg will be selected by CHIEFS/CDS for plant health  purposes   and these will be subject to physical checks and pre-notification on the new IPAFFS   service / Scottish government
  •   Physical and identify checks for plant health purposes consist of visual inspections to ensure they are pest free and to verify the content and labelling of the consignment.

<Demo of IPAFFS>




From July HMI checks



Actions to be taken by the GB Competent Authority

  •   From July 2021 a small sample of SMS and GMS   Fruit and Veg will be selected by CHIEFS/CDS (from customs declarations) for   HMI purposes  and require a certificate   of conformity at the border.
  •   To gain the certificate of conformity a   physical check may be carried out. Physical checks consist of visual   inspections of goods to ensure they meet the quality and labelling requirements   of the marketing standards. These checks also confirm the amounts of the   goods, to ensure the correct quantity of the consignment.
  •   A GB CoC is then issued in order to ensure that it conforms to the required quality and labelling standards.



GB CA updates IPAFFS with outcome of inspection


This action is for the GB Competent Authority






GB system receives update and a decision is required if goods can be released


This actions is to be done by GB Border



If yes go to step 5.6. If no go to step 5.7.




Goods are released to importer.



This action is to be done by the GB Border


  •   From January – July there is no holding for   customs reasons    
  •   From July an automated customs release of   goods will be arranged – in Scotland this will be via a paper Certificate of   Conformity being issued until they are linked to IPAFFS IT service 




Goods may be held for other  reasons, such as plant health/fraud/smuggling/not paying a tariff     


This actions is to be done by GB Border


  •   This can include PHSI, Scottish Government and other government agencies such as UKBF
  •   This is relevant for goods that have had physical checks.
  •   If this is the case, the process ends here




Goods arrive with customer




This action is for the importer/exporter 





This is the end of the process.



 Exporting Fruit and Veg from GB to the EU




Export to the EU




If you Export Fruit and Veg   from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) into the EU, marketing   standards processes at GB borders will change from 1 January 2021.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Standards - Exporting and Importing Guidance | SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture)



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:





GB exporter checks EU import   requirements in advance


This action is for the Exporter


  •   To export your Fruit and Veg to the EU you will need to meet EU Marketing Standards.
  •   The EU has guidance on how to export Fruit and Veg to the EU and this contains information   related to Specific Marketing Standards (SMS - those that require CoCs)  See:

  •   Exporter will need additional certifications for their commodities, subject to other EU requirements   example: Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) for regulated plants from January‌biosecurity/legislation/new_eu_rules_en




Exporter to register 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 Fruits and Veg purposes before exporting to ensure there are no delays to the consignment.
  •   You should continue to use PEACH until you are directed to register and use Export Health Certificate Online (EHCO). The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for you to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support during and after migration.
  •   For England and Wales. you will need to register on PEACH for export of Fruit and Veg, Please go to:
  •   Until Scotland has access to EHC online – for exports from Scotland please visit: or email: 



Export to the EU

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 clear export customs process.

To   apply for a GB-issued certificate of conformity:

  • Use the PEACH system (England and Wales)
  • Contact SASA Horticulture and Marketing Unit at (Scotland)

You   must comply with the third country import requirements as defined in the EU marketing standards regulations if you export Fruits and Veg 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   and / 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, export 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 (England and Wales)
  • SASA’s Horticulture and Marketing Unit by emailing (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. Exporters will need to check with the EU country of   import.


  •   SMS commodities – apples, pears, grapes, kiwis, citrus, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet peppers
  •   To be   fit for sale, the SMS goods must meet certain criteria – Click here
  •   Click here to know more about grade and quality   classes.
  •   Click here to know more about labelling.



Export to the EU


Exporter applies for certificate of conformity


This action is for the GB CA


  •   From January you should use PEACH and from (date tbc) you should use EHC Online.
  •   Until Scotland has access to EHC online –   for exports from Scotland please visit: email: 
  •   If the applicant is ATS approved the system will issue a certificate of conformity automatically. You can then print this   off to send or download it as a file to email the National Clearance Hub   (NCH)
  •   If the applicant is not ATS approved, the system will highlight to HMI and require risk assessment as to whether a physical inspection is required or a certificate of conformity can be issued   automatically – this is subject to the inspector’s decision.
  •   If you are not ATS approved you should allow at least 24 hours prior to export to enable any inspections to be undertaken   by the CA.

<Demo of PEACH>


HMI / Scottish Gov carry out physical inspection


This action is for the GB CA


  •   If goods meet the marketing standards a certificate of conformity is issued via PEACH.
  •   If goods fail then exporter is informed why and they can then bring product back into conformity if possible and resubmit an application to PEACH/Scottish Government.



Export to the EU




4.1 HMI /Scottish Gov issues CoC to exporter so that it can be included with the consignment





These actions are for the Exporter/importer


  •   CoCs will be issued to the Exporter on-site so that it can be included with the   consignment.
  •   CoCs that are not issued on-site will have to be downloaded from PEACH account, once the HMI   approves the consignment on PEACH, or will be emailed by Scottish Government.  
  •   A copy of the CoC needs to be emailed to the National Clearance Hub for clearance prior to   export (there is a minimum 2 to 3 hour window allowance for HMRC NCH for all   goods going Route 1).
  •   Your customs   entry will supply detail of when the load is cleared for export.


Pre –notify the EU CA using the   relevant MS system 


These actions are for the Importer


  •   The goods have to be notified to the Member State in sufficient time – these times may be different in different MSs
  •   Different MSs   have different pre-notification systems for Fruit and Veg


Exporter/agent completes export   customs declaration on CHIEF/CDS





These actions are for the Exporter


Declaration of consignment with valid CoC will be done on CHIEF/CDS   for export to the EU.


Exporter sends goods


These actions are for the Importer


  •   Consignments will have to be exported before the end of the validity period of a CoC.
  •   The validity period can vary from e.g. 2 days for strawberries and 7 days for apples.



Importer/Agent completes import customs   declaration on EU MS Customs platform and Pre-Notification point of entry EU   CA (relevant system used by Member State)



These actions are for the Exporter/importer



The goods has to be notified to the Member State in sufficient time.





Export to the EU


Goods arrive at EU Border


Actions hat need to be taken at the EU Border


  •   Importer   will need to declare entry to EU countries customs system and apply to countries CA to obtain a certificate of conformity.
  •   If   goods are of UK origin then the GB CoC will allow entry in to free circulation. However a small sample of these goods may require checks. (Assuming GB is
      listed in EU’s AIS and the consignment has a GB issued CoC)
  •   If   goods are of non-GB origin a CoC will need to be applied for through the country’s CA by the exporter or importer, before release into free circulation.


Are goods selected for physical and   conformity checks?


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority


  •   Physical and   conformity checks may consist of visual inspections of goods to ensure they   meet the quality and labelling requirements of the marketing standards. These checks also confirm the amounts of the goods, to ensure the correct quantity of the consignment.  
  •   These checks may vary dependent on   the Member State (MS).


Do goods pass all physical and   conformity checks


Actions to be taken by the EU Competent Authority


  •   If goods pass the checks then the process continues using the GB CoC -for goods of GB origin
  •   If they don’t pass, the importer will be informed and may decide to bring the goods back into conformity and re-submit an application for a CoC. (this may   vary dependent on the Member State (MS))


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




Goods arrive at destination.


Action to be taken by EU Border




Movement of goods between GB –   Northern Ireland (NI)


This action is for the GB Traders


  •   For Day 1 (Jan 2021), GB traders need not apply for GB issued CoC for moving goods between GB and NI.
  •   Fruit and vegetables moved from GB to NI will need to enter through designated points of entry and meet EU import marketing standards requirements.

Further information will be provided shortly.







This is the end of the process.



Summary of IT services used for Import and Exports for fruit and veg fresh produce


 IT Services for Fruits &   Veg (fresh produce HMI)

Import IT Services for Plant Health (fresh produce) 


Not required EU

Not required for fruit and veg plants until April


Not required for EU


From July





IT Services for Fruits & Veg (fresh produce HMI) 

Export  IT Services for Plant Health (fresh produce) 




From Feb (Date TBC) 


EHC Online 

From July

EHC Online

EHC Online




Animal Plant Health


Approved Inspection Services


Approved Trader Status 


Competent Authority


Certificate of Conformity


Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight


Centre of International Trade


Export Health Certificate Online


Economic Operator Registration and Identification


European Union


Great Britain


General Marketing Standards


Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate


Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System


Marketing Standards or Member State


National Clearance Hub


Northern Ireland


Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates


Plant Health Seed Inspectorate


Specific Marketing Standards