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Detailed guide: Importing and exporting plants and plant products if there’s a no-deal Brexit

Animal Plant Health Agency

October 23
09:45 2019

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A Brexit deal has been agreed but needs to be ratified. The UK could still leave the EU with no deal on 31 October if the UK and EU do not approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.

This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes. Sign up for email alerts to get the latest information.

Plant means a living plant (including a fungus or tree) or a living part of a plant (including a living part of a fungus or shrub), at any stage of growth.

Plant product means products of plant origin, unprocessed or having undergone simple preparation, in so far as these are not plants, including wood and bark.

Importing plants and plant products from the EU

The majority of plants and plant products (including fruit, vegetables and cut flowers) imported from the EU will continue to enter the UK freely.

Any plants and plant products currently managed under the EU plant passport scheme will be subject to UK import controls and become regulated commodities after a no-deal Brexit. This replaces the EU plant passports assurance and traceability, and maintains biosecurity.

When you import plants or plant products that are currently managed under the EU plant passport scheme, youll need to:

Notice periods for imports originating in the EU that require a phytosanitary certificate: regulated commodities

You must notify the relevant plant health authority of a consignments arrival into the UK from the EU. There is no set notice period - you can give notice at any time up to the point that the consignment enters the UK.

How to find your relevant plant health authority

Give notice by informing the relevant plant health authority on the PEACH website for England and Wales.

Importers in Scotland and Northern Ireland use their own plant health authorities.

How to register timber products for import

You must inform the Forestry Commission.

How border checks will be carried out

Regulated plants and plant products originating in the EU will not be stopped at the border.

The relevant UK plant health authority will carry out their documentary and identity checks remotely. This will be a virtual check using the documents submitted as part of the pre-notification and will not require the goods to stop inland. You will be charged for these checks by the plant health authority. You will also be charged for any Forestry Commission checks.

Plant health inspectors will continue to carry out follow-up surveillance and inspections inland in line with current policies. The government does not charge for such inspections.

Steps to take now to prepare for Brexit

You can prepare by:

Importing plants and plant products from third countries via the EU

Find out how to import plants, fruit, vegetables and plant materials to the UK from third countries and how to import and export wood and timber products using the current rules.

The EU does not have to carry out plant health checks on regulated third-country goods going to the UK if theres a no-deal Brexit.

Plants and plant products that come from third countries via the EU without plant health checks by an EU member state, will be treated as third-country imports.

Many plants and plant products entering the UK via the EU arrive at fast-moving roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ports where checks at the border would create significant disruptions to traffic. All third-country plant health regulated material arriving in the UK via RoRo ports requiring checks will have to go to a plant health approved facility for inspection.

These facilities include:

  • Place of First Arrival (PoFA) - trade premises that have been authorised to host plant health controls on third country material entering the UK via the EU at RoRo ports
  • other facilities that have been authorised for Plant Health control (alternative inspection posts)

You must ensure that plant health checks are carried out on third-country material entering the UK via the EU by doing one of the following:

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