Moving and retaining prohibited plants, plant pests, pathogens and soil

Date published: 21 October 2021

Last updated: 31 May 2023

An application can be made for an Authorisation (formerly known as a Special Licence) to import, move or keep material that is usually prohibited because it poses a plant health risk to Northern Ireland’s crops and plants.

This material includes:

  • plants, including parts of plants and seeds
  • invertebrate plant pests (arthropods, molluscs and nematodes)
  • plant pathogens (fungi, bacteria, viruses, virus-like agents and phytoplasmas)
  • soil and other organic material
  • potatoes

You can only get an Authorisation if you’re using the prohibited material for:

  • official testing
  • scientific research
  • educational purposes
  • trials
  • testing new varieties of plants (varietal selection)
  • breeding

If you wish to apply for an authorisation use the application form and Explanatory Leaflet and guidance notes below:


If you have any queries please email

Back to top