Import Regime for Plant Health Controlled Material
Plant Health Import Requirements
It is important for all importers and agents handling the import of controlled plant material (i.e. that requiring a phytosanitary certificate) to be aware of the plant health controls which they need to meet and the charges they may incur. For full details please refer to the documents below:
- Letter to all Traders and Agents (PDF, 89KB)
- Document upload into PEACH (PPT, 779 KB)
- Changes to import inspections at key points of entry (PPT, 234 KB)
If you have any queries please phone the Fera Plant Health Imports Helpdesk 0844 248 0071.
The restrictions and requirements relating to the import of plants, plant produce, plant pests, soil and growing medium from non-European Community (EC) countries are laid down in the EU Plant Health Directive and are intended to reduce the risk to commercial crop production and the environment from the introduction of plant pests and diseases. They are implemented in England by the Plant Health (England) Order 2005 (as amended) and in Wales by the Plant Health (Wales) Order 2006 (as amended). The Plant Health (Scotland) Order 2005 (as amended) and the Plant Health Order (Northern Ireland) 2006 (as amended) implement requirements in Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
All importers must follow the procedures below to allow the clearance of plant health restricted material (i.e. material required to be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate on entry to the EU):
- All importers involved in the import of Plant Health controlled material must be registered with Fera Plant Health. Traders and Agents should first register with the RPAi PEACH System and they will automatically be registered with Fera Plant Health, before they receive their PEACH registration details. Failure to register will result in a delay in Customs clearance
- Pre-notify each import of plant health restricted consignments on the electronic PEACH system before arrival. This notification should be at least 4 working hours if brought in by air and in all other cases (including ship) at least 3 working days. Consignments which are not pre-notified will not be Customs cleared
Please be aware that all consignments of plants, potatoes, grain and soil will be automatically held for inspection. If the consignments arrive 'out of hours' (including at weekends) they will be held until an Inspector is next available (which may be during the next period of normal working hours). This also applies to consignments of aquatic plants, so it is advised that any live fish in these consignments are packaged and identified separately.
- The importer must store the imported material in an approved place (and be liable for any costs) until officially inspected. To minimise delays during inspections you should ensure that all boxes/containers are clearly and accurately labelled to distinguish between restricted and non-restricted material. This will speed up the process for both importers and officials
- Importers are legally obliged to pay for charges relating to physical inspection, documentary and identity import checks
- Importers must notify a Plant Health Inspector of the presence of, or suspected presence of, prohibited or controlled plant pests
- To apply to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for authority for an alternative approved place of inspection, other than at point of entry (i.e. temporary storage facility, Customs Freight Simplified Procedure (CFSP) etc)
A copy of the Phytosanitary Certificate(s) together with a copy of the Air Waybill, Bill of Lading, Cargo Movement Request (as appropriate) or invoice/delivery note etc, so we can carry out documentary and identity checks, should accompany the advanced notification of the arrive of the goods on the PEACH system.
Once the necessary physical inspection and documentary/identity checks have been completed with no problems being found, you will be notified that the goods have passed plant health controls via the PEACH system and HMRC will automatically be notified via the CHIEF system.
The original phytosanitary certificate must be posted, within 3 days of the consignment being landed to: