This note presents an overview and is for guidance only. The note strives to make the information accurate but no claims or guarantees are made about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents. The user should not use it to take decisions and independent advice must be taken.
Importing, Exporting and Moving plants, between GB and Northern Ireland
Example Guidance to finding information (January 2021)
Changes to plant health regulations came into force for the UK on 1 January 2021 owing to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These directly affect commercial horticulture in Wales when trading with Northern Ireland. There will be new activities for you but there is a lot of advice available. Your first point of call should be your APHA Plant Health and Seeds Inspector.
For movement between other countries, and the movement of plants in Great Britain which require plant passports or phytosanitary certificates, please see the article in the Tyfu Cymru Knowledge Hub titled “Importing, Exporting and Moving plants, including Plant Passporting, in Wales and importing and exporting to countries in the European Union”.
Phytosanitary certificates are used for movements between third countries and are issued by the plant health authority. A phytosanitary certificate attests that the consignment in question has met the plant health requirements of the destination country. Plant passports are used for internal movement of plants and plant products. Welsh operators can be authorised to issue plants passports by APHA. The plant passport attests that the operator has met a minimum standard of plant health and their plants are free from pest and disease before being moved, as well as providing traceability within the supply chain.
The Trader Support Service is available to guide you through the movement of goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol Sign up for the Trader Support Service - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Northern Ireland to Great Britain
Goods can be moved from NI to GB in the same way as prior to 1 January 2021 if they are Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods (QNIG). Guidance on this can be found at:
Great Britain to Northern Ireland
To export plants to Northern Ireland from GB you may need a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC). To do this you will first need to register with eDomero
Guidance on the movement of plants and eDomero can be found at:
For plants being exported to Northern Ireland that need to be inspected and certified, you may not need to pay, with the costs being invoiced by the certifier to the Government under the Movement Assistance Scheme. Further details on this Scheme are available at:
If you export fruit, vegetables or cut flowers from GB to the EU or NI, you may be eligible for the plant health exports audited trader scheme (PHEATS) by which you can do your own inspections and apply for PCs to be issued. Details on registration can be found at:
More general guidance on import and export
Please note that movement of plants from other countries, through NI or GB may be subject to additional regulations.
A decision tree on border plant health controls is available at:
A list of government resources available can be found at:
Business Wales has issued a slide show on the general actions that businesses should take Post-Transition:
Owing to COVID-19 measures there was an extension of COVID easements Extension of covid-19 easements - UK Plant Health Information Portal (defra.gov.uk) For plant health, this has the impacts:
- for plants and plant products imported from third countries, GB may accept electronic copies of original PCs from exporting counties where issuing originals is an issue. This measure is conditional on the original certificate being provided as soon as feasible
- GB will also allow officials to carry out remote documentary and identity checks using available technology
- GB will consider the use of remote and virtual meetings with operators where physical meetings are not feasible
For further advice contact the Centre for International Trade (CIT):
CIT Plants Headquarters
1-2 Peasholme Green
Telephone: 0300 1000 313