Guide

Trading in fruit, vegetables and plant products

Phytosanitary approval and testing

Plants and plant products imported from non-European Union (EU) countries under a Phytosanitary certificate will be inspected by the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) Plant Health when they enter the UK or at the earliest opportunity afterwards.

Once the consignment arrives under customs control, you must apply to HM Revenue & Customs for authority to move the goods to an approved storage area for inspection, such as a temporary warehouse. You must keep the goods there until they have been inspected. You must also present the Phytosanitary certificate to inspectors within three days of the goods' arrival. You'll have to pay the costs of inspection.

If you're moving goods between EU member states, spot checks may be carried out at any part of the supply chain. However, most plant and plant products can move freely.

You can read a summary of plant importers' responsibilities.

Inspections for exported plants and plant products

If you're exporting plants or plant products to countries outside the EU, you must find out what the import requirements in that country are before shipping your goods. This will significantly reduce the risk of your goods being detained by customs in their destination country. Fera Plant Health offer a range of services designed to help businesses export outside the EU.