Northern Ireland is a Community Grade region for seed potatoes and within the high grade area it is a requirement that all potatoes planted must be no lower than Basic category seed ( Pre-basic or Basic category seed of union grade PB, S, SE, or E). Northern Ireland ware growers are permitted to plant seed from other EU member states, however this must carry a Union grade (PB, S, SE, or E) on the label. No certified seed carrying a blue label seed (Union grade A and B) is permitted to be landed or planted in Northern Ireland. It is also a requirement that all seed potatoes landed for planting for certification or for ware production are notified in advance to Plant Health Inspection Branch (PHIB).
Ware growers are subject to annual ware planting inspection checks by PHIB Inspectors to ensure they comply with legislative requirements; failure to comply can result in prosecution. Ware potato growers are permitted to plant farm saved seed from a basic crop they planted but this may only be grown for one generation to produce a ware crop for marketing.
Notification of ware potato imports
All Potato businesses importing ware potatoes into Northern Ireland from Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain are required to notify the Department at least two days prior to the importation. Polish potatoes should also be accompanied by a certificate issued by the Polish Authorities indicating that they have been tested and found free from Ring Rot.
Labelling Requirements for Imported Ware Potatoes
The attached letter to importers details the need to ensure that all ware potatoes imported into Northern Ireland are labelled with the Plant Health Registration Number of the grower or processor.
This labelling will enable the potatoes to be traced back to the farm of origin in the event of a serious disease finding.
Labelling requirements for ware potatoes landed in Northern Ireland.
Ware Potato Marketing Arrangements
The Ware Potato Marketing Arrangements outline the requirements for the marketing of Northern Ireland ware potatoes from the 2019 crop. The document covers the export requirements for ware potatoes to the Canary Islands and non EU Countries.