Brexit transition Q&As - Plant health

Brexit transition questions and answers related to plant health.

Import and export of plants

Do Plant and Plant Products include Dry Forms- e.g. Rusks?

Plant and plant products regulated under plant health and official controls do not include Dry Forms such as rusks. The regulated list for plants and plant products includes, all plants for planting; roots and tubercle vegetables; most fruits; cut flowers; seeds and leafy vegetables.

Do feed barley / feed wheat imports to NI from GB fall into plant products?

Feed barley and wheat imports from GB to NI are not subject to SPS controls.

We import fresh salads and baby leaf from GB to NI, a major issue is shelf life of the product in question. As these are plants is there a way to avoid having to apply for a cert? Any delays on highly perishable items will have a catastrophic impact.

Most fresh fruit and vegetables imported into the EU are subject to both plant health and horticultural marketing standard requirements. A phytosanitary certificate (PC) may be required depending on the level of processing of the products. If the salads are processed to the extent where the risk of plant pests being present is negligible then no PC will be required.

I currently supply plants directly to members to the public in NI from GB, what declarations/inspections would be required on the NI side of the border?

The default position is that plants sent from GB to NI after 1st January 2021 must comply with EU import requirements for plants from third countries. Some plants may be prohibited outright while most will need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the competent authority in the country of export. All plants for planting will be subject to inspection at the point of entry into NI.

At present, we import plants from New Zealand, with a phytosanitary certificate and then distribute to GB and NI. Could this continue, and would there be changes to the paperwork we need to fill out?

You may continue to import plants from New Zealand with a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) after 1st January 2021. However, additional controls may apply depending on what route the plants travel by. The default position is that after the plants are inspected and cleared into GB and are subsequently moved to NI, they will need to be issued with another PC (or PC for re-export) and will again be subject to full controls at the point of entry into NI. However, the plants can be brought into GB and if moving directly to NI (unopened) they can be put under a transit procedure to cross GB and full official controls will be applied only at the point of entry into NI. If the plants are imported from New Zealand directly into NI, full official controls will apply at the point of entry into NI. These plants can then be moved from  NI businesses  to EU Member States with an EU/NI plant passport.  After a period of residency in NI these plants may move from NI to GB on an EU/NI plant passport.

How are phytosanitary certificates going to work in practice post 1st Jan... cert per load / self certification / cert per SKU?

Phytosanitary certificates (PCs) should be supplied per consignment by the authority of the country of export. Multiple lots of various species can be entered on one PC but it is up to the issuing authority to decide how this works in practice. All relevant additional declarations should be present on the PC.

Can we harvest (carrots, swedes and leeks) from ROI or Scotland as they come from the ground and bring them into NI for washing and processing and then selling onto to UK?

From 1st January 2021, there will be no additional requirements when moving  vegetables from RoI into NI. However, GB will be treated as a third country to the EU and the default legislative position is that vegetables will require a phytosanitary certificate for movement into NI from Scotland and from other GB regions. Northern Ireland has Protected Zone (PZ) status for Beet Necrotic Yellow Vein Virus.

I have a business in the Republic of Ireland that imports fruit and veg from GB into Belfast port and then comes straight into the republic of Ireland for packing,  how does this work, does the check take place at Belfast and do we pre-notify DAERA instead of DAFM in Dublin Port?

Regulated plants and plant products imported from a third country to the EU must be checked and cleared at the first point of entry to the EU. From 1st January 2021, regulated plants and plant products imported from GB to ROI that enter through Belfast port or any NI point of entry must be pre-notified to the competent authority responsible for the point of entry.  In this case, pre-notification should be provided to DAERA Plant Health using the EU online system TRACES NT and the consignment must be accompanied with a phytosanitary certificate.  If all checks are satisfactory at the NI point of entry, the consignment can move to its destination in the Republic of Ireland without further phytosanitary controls.

What is the minimum amount of time required for pre-notification to DAERA Plant Health for goods coming into NI from a Third Country (including GB)?

For imports of plants and plant products from GB and all other non-EU countries (rest of world) you must provide 24 hours advance notification before arrival by sea, and 4 hours advance notification for arrival by air. At least three working days advance notification must be provided for unprocessed logs or sawn or chipped wood that is to be brought into NI.

What will the new plant passport requirements be, from 1st January 2021, for nurseries that export plants and plant products from NI to EU?  From NI to GB?

NI will continue to use the EU plant passport scheme for trade with other EU Member States and internal movement.  Existing Registered Authorised Professional Operators (RAPOs) can continue to issue EU plant passports. 
EU plant passports issued by NI RAPOs will remain valid following the end of the EU Exit Transition Period for movement of plants into GB.

What will the new requirements and controls be for plants and plant materials moved from GB to NI and EU after 1st January 2021?

Regulated plants and plant products entering NI from GB will require to be pre-notified to DAERA Plant Health and accompanied with a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) issued by the competent authority in GB, confirming the consignment is free from relevant pests and diseases.

For a nursey based in ROI, selling plants to the UK. What will be the export / import requirements?

There will be no changes to the current regulatory requirements for moving regulated plants and plant products from ROI to NI or from NI to ROI.     Where a business based in ROI import regulated plants and plant products via a NI point of entry, pre-notification must be provided to DAERA Plant Health Division using the EU online systems TRACES NT and the consignment must be accompanied with a phytosanitary certificate issue by the GB competent authority. For regulated plants and plant products direct exports from ROI to GB the trader should contact DAFM Plant Health.

Import and export of wood and bark

What will the requirements be for pallets to transport goods from GB to NI after 1st January 2021?

Pallets used for the movement of goods GB to NI will need to be ISPM 15 compliant (marked and stamped; heat treatment is one of the approved treatments of the ISPM15 standard).

Will pallets manufactured in NI be accepted as made to ISPM 15 standards?

Pallets manufactured in NI and marked ISPM15 compliant can only be produced by operators approved and certified under the UK Wood Packaging Material Marking Programme (UKWPMMP).

Will any documentation be required for receiving products such as plastic pallets from GB to NI?

Plastic pallets are not regulated.

Phytosanitary Export Certificate Online - PECOL

In terms of the Phyto-Sanitary paperwork, are we clear on the dynamic alignment, which would be required for 3rd country equivalence?

In terms of 3rd country equivalence and the removal of plant health prohibitions and acceptance of equivalence of marketing standards, legal text has been published by the Commission to enable fruit and vegetable propagating material to be marketed subject to SPS conditions and we await a pathway for equivalence on agricultural seeds and forestry productive material to permit GB material to be marketed in the EU. In terms of dynamic alignment, the UKG are considering this as part of next steps.

What is the expected timeline for DAERA to provide phytosanitary certificates for exports from NI?

The turnaround time for completion of phytosanitary certificates will depend on the volume of applications in process at any point, but DAERA Plant Health will aim to provide a completed PC within 10 working days of an online application being received through the PECOL system:

Seed potatoes

We are heavily reliant on Scottish high grade potato seed. As it stands now, how do we deliver material from Scotland under the current rules?

Currently, Scottish seed potatoes are not permitted entry into the European regulatory zone. At the standing committee on 22nd Dec 2020, the Commission did not remove the prohibition on seed potatoes from GB to EU regulatory zone. Growers locally can market seed potatoes across the island over to GB & throughout Europe.

In terms of any seed left over in GB that was originally planned to go to NI, will there now be an entitlement on the merchant/breeder of full compensation from the Government?

Defra Answer: At the moment there is no intention to provide compensation to businesses. The situation in relation to 3rd country listing requirements and processes has been published and is on website.

What will be the certification issued for seed potatoes in NI from January 2021- will it still be EU plant passports, will they be accepted in GB?

Potato seed certification arrangements will continue as at present and it is expected that GB will accept EU/NI plant passports for seed potatoes moving NI to GB until at least June 2021.

Can arrangements be made to enable potatoes to be exported from GB to NI to overcome the current EU Plant Health Requirements?

Seed and ware potatoes can continue to move from GB to NI up until 31 December 2020. Where a business in NI has access to suitable environmentally controlled potato storage facilities, there may be an option to move additional quantities of potatoes from GB to NI in advance of 31 December 2020.  This measure does involve some risk as potatoes are a perishable product.

Are potato micro plants coming from a quarantine unit in GB sent in agar, also impacted by the GB-NI restrictions?

From 1 January 2021, the importation of seed potato nuclear stock from GB to NI will be subject to third country import controls and where legislation applies, be prohibited from entry.

I will be applying for labels for my seed potatoes- most of my production goes to GB, will the labels be issued as EU plant passports, or other labels to send to GB?

It has been agreed by Defra that NI certified basic seed potatoes moving from NI to GB can continue to move under existing plant pass porting arrangements until at least June 2021.

Any update on being able to ship seeds potatoes wholesale into retail in Northern Ireland?

Please refer to DAERA webpage: Import and export of plants after 1 January 2021 for more details.

Ware Potatoes are bought in GB,  come into NI, are processed in NI business into different products e.g. fresh chips which are then sold to ROI from NI company , is there a tariff applied on product?

From 1st January 2021, ware potatoes moving from GB to NI will require a Phytosanitary Certificate from the plant health authority in GB. There are no restrictions on processed potatoes moving from NI to the EU or to GB . Queries on tariffs should be directed to the TSS.

Are the certification for animal products given free of charge? For seed potatoes we have to pay for certification and inspection - how is this fair?

DAERA Plant Health are unable to comment on fees and charges for certification of goods that do not fall under Plant Health.  Fees will continue to be applied for inspection and certification of seed potatoes within NI.

You suggest getting potatoes in from GB before 1st January but as most farms close over Christmas - New Year period goods would have to be lifted 10 days prior and then stored.  Storage life is 3 weeks at best so stocks would be exhausted by mid-January.

Any decision to move additional quantities of potatoes that will require specialist environmentally controlled storage will be a decision for the business owner to assess and manage risk of product deterioration.

EU Plant Health requirements currently prohibits the movement of Potatoes from 3rd Countries into the EU other than from specifically named countries. The UK has yet to be included on that list of countries from which potatoes may be imported.

Please refer to DAERA webpage: Import and export of plants after 1 January 2021 for more details.


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