UE : Com AGRI : Research for AGRI Committee - Possible transitional arrangements related to agriculture in the light of the future EU - UK relationship : institutional issues

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Research for AGRI Committee - Possible transitional arrangementsrelated to agriculture in the light of the future EU-UK relationship: institutional issues, Matthews, A.(2017°

Extraits :

2.1.4.Regulatory checks on food products

Under the currently applicable legislation on trade in plants and plant products (Directive 2000/29/EC)1, a phytosanitary certificate from the competent authority in the exporting country is required for plants for planting, cut flowers, and some fruits, vegetables and seeds (‘controlled plants’). For non-controlled plants, imports into the EU do not require prior approval or notification, although they are subject to rules on food safety and customs procedures and inspection2. Under the new Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 which will come into force in December 2019, all living plant material (namely entire plants, fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, seeds, etc.) will require a phytosanitary certificate confirming their compliance with the EU legislation if they are to be imported into the EU. The Commission will adopt within two years a list of plant materials that can be exempted from that certification if they are deemed safe for the EU territory.

Once the UK becomes a third country, movement of controlled plants and plant products from the UK to the EU27(and, under the UK European Union (Withdrawal)Bill, from the EU27 to the UK) will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the plant health authority of the country of origin rather than a plant passport. This will involve additional costs for those moving plants and plant materials between the UK and the EU27. Whereas a plant passport can be issued by a private grower or merchant sending material to another Member State (the only proviso is that the issuing business is licensed to do so by the competent authority in the Member State and is subject to regular quality control checks), a phytosanitary certificate has to be issued by the competent authority of the exporting state. Importers of controlled plants and plant products will have to register as an importer and will have to give advance notice of the arrival of consignments. When the consignment arrives at the EU27 (or UK) border, it will have to be inspected to check that it is accompanied by all the required documents, that it contains the plants claimed, and that it is free of pests and diseases. Consignments can only enter through Designated Points of Entry (DPEs).


A new Official Controls Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/625) which replaces the 2004 legislation entered into force on 27 April 2017. The new rules will gradually become applicable with the main application date being 14 December 20193. The regulation establishes an integrated approach to import controls by eliminating the current fragmentation of requirements. Common rules will apply to controls carried out at borders on animals, products of animal origin, plants and other products and goods that must be checked before they enter the EU. The import control system will be more risk-based and targeted. Border Control Posts (BCPs) will replace the different Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) and Designated Points of Entry (DPEs) which currently carry out border control tasks. All consignments to be presented at the border control posts will undergo documentary checks. Identity and physical checks will be carried out at a frequency depending on the risk linked to the specific animals or goods. A single standard document, the Common Health Entry Document (CHED), will be used by operators for the prior notification of consignments. It will be transmitted to the border control post through a new integrated computerised system for official controls (Integrated Management System for Official Controls, IMSOC).

1 A new plant health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on protective measures against pests of plants was adopted on 13 December 2016 but its provisions will not come into force until 13 December 2019 in order to allow sufficient time for the necessary delegated and implementing acts to be adopted and to give time to businesses to prepare for the new rules. For a summary of the changes brought in by the new Regulation, see European Commission Fact Sheet,New Plant Health Regulation: stringent rules for a better protection from plant pests”, 13 Dec 2016.

2 Details of the EU regulations governing imports of plants & plant products from non-EU countries can be found on the DG SANTE web pageTrade in plants & plant products from non-EU countries«  

3 The rules for official controls on imported food and feed products are described on this DG SANTE web page »

Lien vers l’étude : www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/602009/IPOL_STU(2017)602009_EN.pdf