Physical checks include inspecting the health of the plants, the consignment’s packaging, means of transport and labelling. Temperature sampling for analysis, laboratory testing or diagnosis may also be required.
This list shows the additional plants and plant products that won’t need a PC for import to GB from 1 January 2021.
Botanical name and requirement
Fruits of Actinidia spp. Lindl,
Fruit and leaves of Citrus spp. L.
Fruit of Fortunella spp. Swingle
Fruit of Poncirus L. Raf
Fruit of Diospyros spp. L.
Fruits (bolls) of Gossypium spp.
Leaves of Murraya spp.
Fruits of Mangifera spp. L.
Fruits of Passiflora spp. L
Fruits of Psidium spp.
The PEACH system will be changing to a new IT system in early 2021. You will be contacted to register for the new system when this happens. Until then, you should continue to use PEACH for pre-notification.
Exporting or moving plants and plant products from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland
From 1 January 2021, all regulated plants and plant products exported or moved from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland will be subject to EU third country import controls.
There are actions you should take to prepare for exporting customs control. Read HMRC’s guidance to understand the steps you need to take.
Regulated plants and plant products include:
all plants for planting
root and tubercle vegetables
some common fruits other than fruit preserves by deep freezing
seeds, and other plant/forest reproductive material
leafy vegetables other than vegetables preserved by deep freezing
some wood and wood products
machinery or vehicles which have been operated for agricultural or forestry purposes
apply for a PC from the relevant UK plant health authority before export
check if your plants require laboratory testing of samples to ensure they are free from pests and diseases or inspections during the growing season – contact your local plant health inspector to find out if your plants need these tests before exporting
Growing season inspections which you need to apply for a PC will remain unchanged from 1 January 2021.
You should continue to use the eDomero system from 1 January 2021 to apply for an export PC for plants and plant products with APHA. Register with the eDomero system, if you haven’t already done so.
The eDomero system will change to a new IT system in early 2021. You will be contacted to register for the new system when this happens.
Scotland and Forestry Commission (FC) will continue to use existing systems.
Regulated plant and plant products exports to the EU from GB may be subject to documentary, identity and physical checks at the EU border.
To prepare for 1 January 2021 you need to:
check with the relevant GB plant health authority to find out if plants and plant products you intend to export or move to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021 need to be accompanied by a PC
check with the relevant plant health authority and use this guide to find out if plants and plant products you intend to export or move to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021 are classified as prohibited or high-risk plants
check with the relevant GB plant health authority to find out if plants and plant products you intend to export or move to the EU or NI require growing season inspections to apply for a PC
These plants and plant products are already exempt from controls to export or move to EU member states or Northern Ireland:
They will continue to be exempt from export controls from 1 January 2021.
Plant products such as fruit and vegetables that have been processed and packaged to the point that they no longer pose a biosecurity risk, will also be exempt from controls in EU member states or at the Northern Ireland point of entry.
Composite products like nut and seed butters containing processed fruit or vegetables do not fall within plant health controls or require a PC.
Exporting prohibited and high-risk plants
From 1 January 2021, you cannot export or move some prohibited commodities such as GB high-risk plants, seed potatoes and ware potatoes to the EU or Northern Ireland.
These prohibitions and requirements fall into 3 categories: high-risk plants, seed and other propagating materials, and prohibited plants.
High-risk plants and plant products
These are plants and plant products that have been assessed by the EU as presenting a pest risk of an unacceptable level for the Union territory.
The high-risk plant list is continually reviewed by the UK and the EU. Defra will publish any updates to the list in this guide.
Seed and other propagating material requiring third country equivalence
You cannot export or move seed and other propagating material to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 where third country equivalence is a requirement, unless the UK is granted third country equivalence ahead of 1 January.
The UK has submitted applications for third country equivalence and continues to engage with the EU to progress this application.
Some plants will be prohibited on plant health grounds, including current EU third country prohibitions.
List of prohibited plants and plant products
Plants of Abies Mill., Cedrus Trew, Chamaecyparis Spach, Juniperus L., Larix Mill., Picea A. Dietr., Pinus L., Pseudotsuga Carr. and Tsuga Carr., other than fruit and seeds
Plants of Castanea Mill. and Quercus L., with leaves, other than fruit and seeds
Isolated bark of Castanea Mill
Plants for planting of Chaenomeles Ldl., Crateagus L., Cydonia Mill., Malus Mill., Prunus L., Pyrus L. and Rosa L., other than dormant plants free from leaves, flowers and fruits
Plants for planting of Cydonia Mill., Malus Mill., Prunus L. and Pyrus L. and their hybrids, and Fragaria L., other than seeds
Plants of Vitis L., other than fruits
Plants of Citrus L., Fortunella Swingle, Poncirus Raf., and their hybrids, other than fruits and seeds
Plants for planting of the family Poaceae, other than plants of ornamental perennial grasses of the subfamilies Bambusoideae and Panicoideae and of the genera Buchloe, Bouteloua Lag., Calamagrostis, Cortaderia Stapf., Glyceria R. Br., Hakonechloa Mak. Ex Honda, Hystrix, Molinia, Phalaris L., Shibataea, Spartina Schreb., Stipa L. and Uniola L., other than seeds
Tubers of Solanum tuberosum L., seed potatoes
Plants for planting of stolon- or tuber-forming species of Solanum L. or their hybrids
Tubers of species of Solanum L., and their hybrids
Plants for planting of Solanaceae
Soil as such consisting in part of solid organic substances
Growing medium as such, other than soil, consisting in whole or in part of solid organic substances, other than that composed entirely of peat or fibre of Cocos nucifera L., previously not used for growing of plants or for any agricultural purposes
Grace period for authorised traders moving food from GB to NI
There will be a 3 month grace period from certification through to 1 April 2021 for authorised traders such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers from 1 January 2021.
If you’re moving plants or plant products from GB to NI, you will not require official certification, such as export health certificates, phytosanitary certificates or marketing standards certification.
The UK Government and the NI Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will engage in a rapid exercise to ensure that traders who can benefit from these arrangements are identified prior to 31 December.
The government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in implementing these practical measures.
The following conditions will be attached to these arrangements:
the goods are packaged for end consumers and they bear a label reading “These products from the United Kingdom may not be marketed outside NI”
they are destined solely for sale to end consumers in supermarkets located in NI, and they cannot be sold to other operators of the food chain
they are accompanied by a simplified official certificate globally stating the products meet all the import requirements of EU legislation
they enter NI through a designated point of entry, where they are submitted to a systematic documentary check and to a risk-based identity check on a selection of items in the means of transport
they are monitored through a channelling procedure applicable from the designated point of entry to the destination supermarket in NI
Authorised traders are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers. The UK government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in recognising traders as authorised for the purpose of this grace period.
A trusted supplier is any business that independently moves its products from GB to NI, for sale in NI.
For example, a meat pie supplier that moves its own products from GB to NI, which delivers directly to a store for sale within NI only would be eligible for authorised trader status.
However, a meat pie supplier that delivers products to a supermarket distribution centre in GB, which is then moved by the supermarket to NI, the producer would not qualify. In this instance, the supermarket would be the authorised trader for that movement into Northern Ireland.
Self-identification by traders
Defra and DAERA are compiling a list of authorised traders who can benefit from the 3-month grace period. Once identified, the traders will be added onto Defra’s authorised traders list that will be sent to the European Commission.
You can also self-identify to be included on the list.
The plant authority in Northern Ireland is the Plant and Tree Health department in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). Contact the DAERA Plant Health Inspection Branch:
Where a plant passport is combined with a certification label, the only changes to the plant passport section will be the:
removal of the EU flag
words ‘Plant Passport’ replaced with ‘UK Plant Passport’
For some fruit and vegetable propagating material and some ornamental material you may also need a supplier document in addition to the UK plant passport. This is an existing requirement and will remain in place after 1 January 2021.
Old EU plant passport labels will remain valid if in circulation before 1 January 2021. From 1 January 2021, UK plant passports should be issued to state compliance with the UK’s new plant health regulations.
Country of origin
The two-letter code ‘GB’ applies to the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland.
Guidance will change from 1 January 2021 to hosts of Xylella fastidiosa and hosts of Ceratocystis platani. The change means that these commodities must have been in the UK for a whole year following their import before a plant passport issued for their movement can list ‘GB’ as the country of origin.
This applies regardless of whether plants are grown under protection or not in the UK. Therefore, you must keep records of importation date and other details to then amend the country of origin to GB 12 months after importation.
This policy applies to the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland.
Hosts of Xylella fastidiosa
The GB code applies to these hosts of Xylella fastidiosa:
plants, other than fruit or seeds of Olea europaea (olive), Coffea (coffee), Polygala myrtifolia, Prunus dulcis (almond)
plants, other than seeds, intended for planting, of Lavandula sp. (lavender), Nerium oleander, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary).
Hosts of Ceratocystis platani
The GB code applies to plants of Platanus L., intended for planting, other than seeds.
Issuing and fixing plant passports for regulated plant material from 1 January 2021
A UK plant passport will be used for movements in GB from 1 January 2021. For movements in Northern Ireland, EU plant passports will continue to be used.
If you’re already authorised to issue plant passports, you do not need a new authorisation to issue UK plant passports.
You must renew your authorisations every year through an audit inspection to check for compliance. Contact APHA or Forestry Commission (FC) to renew your authorisation each year.
UK plant passports can be attached in an EU member state for the first 6 months of 2021, providing the format and attachment is correct. This will be reviewed in June 2021.
However, an EU operator can’t legally issue a UK plant passport under GB plant health rules.
A UK plant passport will have no legal status until it reaches its first place of destination in GB.
UK plant passports in GB
If you’re the operator in GB who is responsible for the plant products at the first place of destination, you’ll:
need to be authorised to issue UK plant passports
be audited under the plant passport regime.
Your registration number will go in Part B of the UK plant passport.
If you do not follow these rules, it may prevent plants from being able to move on from your care.
EU plant passports in GB
EU plant passports cannot be attached in England, Scotland or Wales (Great Britain). They can continue to be attached in NI.
UK plant passports in NI
From 1 January 2021, you will need a PC when moving regulated plants and plant products to Northern Ireland.
Imports with EU plant passports from 1 January 2021
Imports from the EU which currently arrive into GB with an EU plant passport will instead need a phytosanitary certificate from 1 January 2021.
Imports from the EU which currently arrive into NI with an EU plant passport can continue to do so from 1 January 2021.
The process for replacing a PC with a plant passport will remain the same. Plant passports should be issued at the first place of destination, that is the first premises the commodities reach for drop off, such as a depot or retail outlet.
If the commodities you trade in require a plant passport now, but you simply move them on under their existing EU plant passport, from 1 January 2021 you may need authorisation to issue a UK plant passport for them.
If you imported goods to the UK under a PC, you only need to issue a UK plant passport for your goods if:
you’re moving them to another professional operator
you’re selling them to final users (those buying for personal use) by means of distance contract, for example online
you’re moving them to another of your own premises which is more than 10 miles from the premises where the consignment arrived
the phytosanitary status of the consignment changes, for example, if it has been grown on, or if it has been reconfigured, for example, 2 plants in separate pots have been planted in a new pot together
If you are already authorised to issue plant passports then you do not need a new authorisation to do this.
EU plant passports do not need to be invalidated when they enter GB. As the format is different to the UK plant passport they can easily be differentiated, and the EU plant passport considered invalid automatically.
Movements from Northern Ireland to GB from 1 January 2021
The following requirements apply from 1 January 2021.
Qualifying Northern Ireland goods (QNIGs) can continue to move from NI to GB in the same way that they do now.
Qualifying Northern Ireland goods are goods:
in free circulation in NI – on the basis that they are not under customs supervision (except when that supervision comes from the goods being taken out of NI or the EU) or
which have undergone processing operations in NI under the inward processing procedure, and only incorporate inputs which were in free circulation in the UK
If you are an operator based in GB and receive a consignment of plants or plant products from NI which are QNIGs and subject to plant passport requirements, they will continue to arrive at your premises with an EU plant passport as they do now.
As these are QNIGs you do not need to routinely replace this EU plant passport with a UK plant passport, and the goods may be moved on under their EU plant passport unless you:
split the consignment and the new ‘units’ (these may be trolleys, pallets, boxes, bags or similar) no longer have a PP attached to them; or
choose to replace the plant passport (for example, to include your supplier’s details for business purposes)
If any of the above points apply, a UK plant passport could be issued without a full examination of the plants taking place before onward movement. This is in line with current guidance on when to replace a plant passport.
If you replace a plant passport on a QNIG you must put the code ‘GB(NI)’ in Part E of that replacement UK plant passport, to help maintain their identity as QNIGs.
This is to aid monitoring of compliance with plant passporting requirements, including the specific provisions for QNIGs.
This will help ensure that it is easily visible whether a good has originated outside of GB’s phytosanitary zone, yet may not have undergone full third country checks, which will be important for tracing purposes in the event of a pest or disease is found.
If the phytosanitary status of your consignment changes, for example because traceability has not been maintained, there is a pest or disease issue with the consignment or the plants have been ‘grown on’, then a full examination will need to be carried out on the plants.
Once confirmed they are fully aligned with GB plant health standards, a standard UK plant passport with Part E left blank could be issued.
Some plants and plant products must meet specific requirements to enter ‘protected zones’ within EU countries.
EU Protected Zones (PZs) allow EU member states to place controls on imports and movements between member states. This prevents the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases which are present elsewhere in the EU but absent from the Protected Zone.
Changes to Protected Zones from 1 January 2021
The UK cannot designate all or parts of the UK as an EU Protected Zone from 1 January 2021.
The UK will replace the biosecurity protections provided by EU Protected Zones by creating 2 new designations.
Quarantine pest designation
Quarantine pests are plant pests and diseases which are not established and which would be damaging if introduced, where they are absent from the whole of the UK.
Quarantine pests are prohibited from entering the UK and are subject to statutory control if found on plants or plants products. The requirements to prevent the entry of these pests will remain the same from 1 January 2021.
Pest Free Areas (PFAs) designations
This will designate PFAs in line with international standards for those pests and diseases which are absent from part of the UK, but not the whole of the UK. PFAs are declared in line with recognised international standards and requirements. They can be applied to movements of plants and plant products into PFAs.
Both EU PZs and PFAs allow countries to control movements of plants and plant products which may carry plant pests and diseases, where the whole country or an area within the country are free from those pests or diseases. Moving from PZs to quarantine pests and PFAs will not change the requirements for goods moving within the UK.
There will be no new import or movement restrictions from the replacement of certain PZs with requirements for quarantine pests. These requirements are already in place now under the PZ system. The requirements for importing into and moving within PFAs will be the same as they currently are for the equivalent PZs.
If you are moving plants and plant products into or within UK PZs currently, you need to use an EU plant passport. You will need to use a UK plant passport if you’re moving the relevant plants and plant products into or within UK PFAs from 1 January 2021.
Any new agreements will replicate existing EU agreements as far as possible. Where replacement trade agreements are not agreed, trade will take place on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms with that country. Details of each agreement will be shared with parliament and the public when they have been agreed.
Returned plants and plant products: policy from 1 January to 30 June 2021
Plants and plant product consignments rejected at EU BCPs can re-enter GB through any point of entry from 1 January to 30 June 2021.
For rejected goods returning to England or Wales you must submit an import pre-notification using the relevant IT system to notify APHA. This guide will publish details of these IT systems before 1 January 2021. Pre-notification must be submitted:
for Roll-On Roll-Off and air movements, at least 4 working hours prior to arrival
by all other modes of transport, at least one working day prior to arrival
You must include a copy of the original phytosanitary certificate with pre-notification. If your consignment was exported without a phytosanitary certificate please contact APHA on 0300 1000 313 before returning your goods or SASA on 0131 244 8890.
APHA will assess this information to decide the conditions of import and if the consignment needs further checks on entry to Great Britain. If further checks are required someone from APHA in England and Wales or SASA in Scotland will contact you.
Adding information about the Authorised traders list
Update to Introduction of fees and charges on EU imports section. Update to Wood packaging material for import and export.
New Movements from Northern Ireland to GB from 1 January 2021 section added. New Importing plants and plant products from the EU to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 section added. Updated exports section to include Northern Ireland. New information on grace period for authorised traders moving food from GB to NI.
Added a link to the PEACH user guide.
Added section on making advance notifications for all regulated consignments to the UK.
Removed inaccurate section on ###How to move goods into or within a UK Pest Free Area from 1 January 2021
Added section on Plants that do not need a phytosanitary certificate for EU import from 1 April 2021 and document showing the new import requirements for high priority plants and products from 1 January 2021. New information on the rejected goods process added.
Removed publication ‘the new import requirements for high priority plants and products from 1 January 2021’ for policy review and further updating.
Updated publication ‘new import requirements for high priority plants and products from 1 January 2021’
Removed document ‘new import requirements for high priority plants and products from 1 January 2021’ . Updated version will be approved and published today.
Added document explaining the new requirements to Import high-priority plants and products from 1 January 2021
New instructions on the import and export processes in 2021 – set out in 3 stages, 1 January, 1 April and 1 July 2021.