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

Seed Potatoes

Great Britain (GB) grown seed potatoes are currently prohibited from entering Northern Ireland (NI) with a phytosanitary certificate. From the 1st October 2023 seed potatoes can move from GB to NI under a NI Plant Health Label (NIPHL). 

The NIPHL will only permit the movement of seed potatoes from GB authorised operators to NI registered growers and will be like the existing UK plant passport regime for domestic movement within GB. It is aimed at supplying the commercial producers of seed potatoes in NI so once again NI consumers will have access to GB cultivars and varieties. 

The NIPHL does not affect any existing marketing regulations, the full Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS) process will still apply to seed potatoes moving to NI. In addition to the NIPHL, NI have their own notification requirements as per their domestic legislation which is separate from any agreement the UK Government has made with the EU. Details of these requirements can be found here. 

High-level Process Map 

To support businesses and their decision-making, please find a link to an end-to-end process map that identifies the necessary steps that are required to move seed potatoes from GB to NI. 

Registration and authorisation 

All GB operators intending to move seed potatoes to NI using a NIPHL are required to be both registered and authorised with the relevant competent authority. Operators should only be registered with one competent authority in GB. Which competent authority (APHA/SASA) will depend on the location of your business premises. 

If you are based in England or Wales, you must register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). If you are based in Scotland, register with SASA by contacting the seed potato team via email onpcsapps@sasa.gov.uk. 

If you are already registered as a professional operator, you may need to provide supplementary information including informing the competent authority that you wish to be registered for NIPHL. You are already registered as a professional operator if you: 

  • are authorised to issue UK plant passports 

  • are registered on the Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS) 

  • are a registered seed company 

  • have previously exported any goods regulated for plant health purposes, including used agricultural and forestry machinery and vehicles 

Any operator involved in the movement of plants and seed for planting from GB to NI using a NIPHL is required to be authorised. An authorisation number is needed to complete the notification process before the goods arrive in NI.  

The registration process is completed once and only needs to be updated if there are changes in circumstances or details.  

Unlike registrationauthorisation will need to be completed on an annual basis and requires operators to provide more details about their business and the goods they intend to move. This can be completed by operators in England and Wales by filling out the e-form here. Scottish businesses should contact SASA  using the contact details provided below. 

If you cannot access the e-form to become registered and authorised please use the details provided below to contact the relevant plant health agency or local inspector. 

Following the successful application to become authorised the standard SPCS process will need to be undertaken for each lot of seed potato. 

SPCS  

The SPCS process remains the same from the seed potato grower’s perspective as marketing regulations are not impacted by the Windsor Framework. Inspections will include: 

  • Soil survey 

  • Growing season inspections 

  • Tuber inspections 

However, plant health inspectors when carrying out their inspections will be looking for additional pests that are NI entry requirements for seed potatoes. For more information on the SPCS in England and Wales or Scotland please follow the links. 

After the seed has been certified and is confirmed to have met the NIPHL phytosanitary requirements the competent authority can issue the NIPHL along with the SPCS label for movement to NI. 
 
Format of the NIPHL 

The NIPHL for seed potatoes is based on the current UK plant passport, there is an example for reference below. 

UK Flag – the UK flag will be on the NIPHL label. 

Northern Ireland Plant Health Label heading – The label will clearly state Northern Ireland Plant Health Label’ to indicate what the label is and ‘for use in the UK only’. 

Part A: botanical name 

Will include Solanum tuberosum on the NIPHL. 

Part B: NIPHL registration number 

Your NIPHL registration number is required on the label. This number is given to you in your email confirming you have been given authorisation by APHA or Scottish Government. 

Part C: Traceability code 

This can be an existing code used to trace or identify a consignment. For example, it could be an individual serial, week, batch or invoice number. 

Part D: QR code - compliance statement 

All NIPHLs will be issued with a QR code which states the requirements set out in EU legislation 2023/1231 have been met 

Seed Potato Example NI Plant Health Label

Seed Potato Example NI Plant Health Label

Designated Label Printer (DLP) 

In England and Wales seed potato growers have the option of becoming DLP’s. This provides growers with flexibility to print their own labels as part of the SPCS process. Although SPCS and NIPHL labels will be issued by APHA the option for printing both sets of labels will remain with DLPs. 

For more information on DLP’s please follow this link 

In Scotland producers authorised to self-print seed potato labels will also be able to print the NIPHL as part of the normal label printing process. 

Attachment of the NIPHL 

  • Just like a UK plant passport the NIPHL must be attached to the consignment. This can be achieved by attaching to the smallest tradeable unit,this could be on a 1.25T bag 

  • The NIPHL can only be attached by an authorised NIPHL operator.  

  • The label needs to be visible and clearly legible 

Seed merchants and breeders (traders) 

Only authorised operators can move seed potatoes from GB authorised growers to NI professional growers. Seed merchants and breeders can move seed potatoes but they must be authorised under the NIPHL scheme and provide the relevant information to the NI consignee so they can fill out a CHED-PP. 

 Traders that do not change the NIPHL on the consignments will still need to be authorised but will not receive official inspections e.g. Annual Records Audit. If traders who are authorised operators wish to attach NIPHL labels they will be subject to official inspections and testing. 

Domestic NI requirements 

In addition to the NIPHL requirements there are specific seed potato notification requirements which need to be completed before seed potatoes arrive in NI.A NI professional operator bringing seed potatoes into NI is required to provide notification to DAERA 48 hours before arrival. This is done through an electronic form sent to a mailbox.  

NI is also a community grade seed region and therefore only pre-basic and basic grades are permitted. 

These measures allow for inspections at place of destination and to maintain the biosecurity of the local seed potato industry from serious potato diseases that may be imported by seed. 

Pre-notification 

The NIPHL scheme requires the NI consignee to have filled out a CHED-PP a minimum of 4 hours before the goods arrive in NI.CHED-PPs are Common Health Entry Documents that provide DAERA with the information that allows for risk-based checks to occur at point of entry. It is important that the correct information regarding the consignment be provided to the NI consignee by the GB authorised operator. Failure to do so could result in goods being held up or returned to GB. 

A pro-forma and guidance on all the information the NI consignee requires from the GB authorised operator can be found on gov.uk. For more information on CHEDPPs please follow this link to the DAERA webpage. 

Arrival at point of entry 

DAERA will complete documentary checks on all CHEDPPs for NIPHL consignments. The details on the CHEDPP will be cross checked with the NIPHL details attached to the CHEDPP. The GB Authorised Operator details provided on the NIPHL pre-notification form attached to the CHEDPP, including the NI Professional Operator details, will be checked to confirm meeting NIPHL scheme requirements. NIPHL consignments must present for official controls at the SPS inspection facility of first arrival in NI. DAERA will perform ID and physical checks in line with NIPHL scheme rules and legislative requirements. 

Constraints 

  • On entry into NI professional operators are reminded that these goods must remain in the UK and cannot be moved directly into the RoI. 

  • Once seed potatoes have been planted and grown into potatoes for consumption, they can be sold, including into the EU. If the seed potatoes are grown to produce further seed potatoes, which meet the requirements of NI’s classification scheme, the harvested seed potatoes will be eligible for sale and marketing to consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland and into the EU. 

  • Marketing regulations are unaffected by the Windsor Framework. Therefore, current requirements e.g.,SPCS still apply 

 

Contacts 

England and Wales

APHA CIT Plants 
Foss House 
King’s Pool 
1-2 Peasholme Green 
York  YO1 7PX 

Telephone: 0300 1000 313 

Scotland 

Contact by email for: 

 

Northern Ireland 

Contact the DAERA Plant Health Inspection Branch: 

Telephone: 0300 200 7847