Exporting grain to non-EU countries
When you need a phytosanitary certificate, how to get one, how to get your grain inspected and when you need to have samples tested.
If you’re exporting grain to a non-EU country, you may need to send a phytosanitary certificate (plant health certificate) with your consignment, depending on the destination country’s rules.
To get a phytosanitary certificate, you’ll have to have your grain tested for pests - in some cases you’ll also have to send samples of your grain to be tested at a laboratory.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) issues phytosanitary certificates in England and Wales.
Contact the APHA if the country you want to export to isn’t mentioned in this guidance, or if you have other questions about your export.
Contact Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) if you’re exporting from Scotland:
Horticulture & Marketing Unit
Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)
A20 Roddinglaw Road,
Phone: 0131 244 8935
Contact the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Northern Ireland (DARDNI) if you’re exporting from Northern Ireland.
When you need a phytosanitary certificate for grain
You must get a phytosanitary certificate and send it with any grain you export to the following countries:
- Canary Islands
- Muscat and Oman
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka (if you’re exporting wheat)
If you’re exporting to countries that aren’t on this list, contact the APHA - allow as much time as possible before the date on which you plan to export.
Apply for a phytosanitary certificate
You should send the form 5 days before the date on which you want to export, unless this isn’t possible, eg if means of transport become available at short notice.
Check whether you need to send samples for testing
Some countries demand that you send 1kg samples of your grain to be tested at a lab in the UK before you can get a phytosanitary certificate.
The length of time this testing takes varies depending on the viruses that your grain is being tested for.
You need to complete sections I and II of application form HH93 (PDF, 286KB, 3 pages) and send it with your samples.
Check this list to see the countries that demand sample testing and the pests and diseases they require you to test for.
|Country||Pests to test for|
|Albania||Cuscuta spp, Ustilago nuda, Orabanche spp|
|Algeria||Arceuthobium spp, Orobanche spp, Cuscuta spp|
|Australia||admixture test only - must be less than 1%|
|Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro||Acroptilon repens, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Cuscuta spp, Galinsofa ciliata, Ambrosia psilostachya, Iva xanthlifolia, Ambrosia trifida, Orobanche spp, Arceuthobium spp (non-European), Solanum rostratum, Asclepias syriaca, Solanum triflorum|
|China||Cuscuta spp, Sorghum halepense (L) pers, Orobanche spp|
|Jordan||Ustilago nuda, Claviceps purpurea|
|Moldova||Acroptilon repens, Helianthus californicus, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Helianthus ciliaris, Ambrosia psilostachya, Iva axillaris, Ambrosia trifida, Solanum carolinense, Cenchrus incertus, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Cuscuta spp, Solanum rostratum, Euphorbia dentata, Solanum triflorum, Euphorbia marginata|
|Russia||Acroptilon repens, Ipomoea hederacea, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Ipomoea iacunosa, Ambrosia psilostachya, Oenothera laciniata, Ambrosia trifida, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Anoda cristata, Sicyos angulatos, Bidens pilosa, Sida spinosa, Cenchrus incertus, Solanum carolinense, Cuscuta spp, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Euphorbia dentata, Solanum rostratum, Helianthus californicus, Solanum triflorum, Helianthus ciliaris|
|Ukraine||Acanthospermum hispidum, Emex spinoza, Acroptilon repens, Emex australis, Ambrosia psilostachya, Helianthus spp, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Ipomoea hederacea, Ambrosia trifida, Paspalum spp, Artemisia biennis, Physalis angulata, Cassia occidentalis, Solanum carolinense, Cassia tora, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Cenchrus spp, Solanum rostratum, Cuscuta campestris, Solanum triflorum|
|Uruguay||Cirisium arvense, Euphorbia, Agula|
|Vietnam||Orobanche spp, Cuscuta spp, Lolium temulentum, Cirsium arvense|
Sampling for Orobanche tests
If you’re exporting to a country that demands you have samples tested for Orobanche as well as other pests and diseases, you must send a separate 1kg sample to APHA - seal it in paper bags that are inside plastic bags.
Check if you need an import permit
You need to get an import permit to export grain to the following countries:
- South Africa
Get an import permit
To get an import permit, contact your customer or agent in the country you’re exporting to, or the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) in the destination country.
Keep a copy of your permit to show APHA if they ask for it.
Check if you need a declaration
Some countries demand that the APHA adds a declaration to your phytosanitary certificate that confirms your shipment is free from pests and diseases which trade inspectors don’t check for.
They demand this declaration in addition to the declaration that’s part of every phytosanitary certificate.
Contact APHA to find out which countries demand this additional declaration.
If you’re exporting grain to Hungary, you must get a declaration from APHA that states your consignment is free from acarus siro L.
If you’re exporting to Vietnam, you must get a declaration from APHA that states your consignment is free from tilletia indica (karnal bunt).
Arrange an inspection
When you’ve sent your application form to APHA and, if necessary, sent samples for testing, contact the port you’re exporting from to ask for a trade inspector to inspect your grain.
The trade inspector you use must be authorised to inspect grain as part of phytosanitary certification - they must have completed APHA’s training course.
How inspection works
Trade inspectors will sample and examine your grain when it arrives at the docks - they’ll do this when you’re loading, either from:
- your lorry to a store, silo or the ship
- from a silo or store to the ship
Talk to the trade inspector before your consignment arrives to find out where they’ll sample and examine your grain.
The inspector will check that your consignment:
- is free from quarantine pests, and practically free from other injurious pests
- meets plant health certification standards in the country you’re sending it to
They’ll make a report and send it to APHA.
After inspection and sending samples
After you’ve had your consignment inspected by a trade inspector, or if necessary, got samples tested at an official laboratory, you must complete a second copy of form HH93 - this time complete section IV and part B.
APHA will only give you a phytosanitary certificate if your authorised trade inspector’s report (and laboratory report, where necessary) states that your grain is free from pests and diseases.
APHA can refuse your application for a plant health certificate if they believe:
- your export poses a risk to plant health
- you or your trade inspector have given them false or inaccurate information
- you haven’t met the conditions for treating or moving material intended for export, eg your grain is infested with insect pests and you haven’t had it fumigated by a qualified contractor
If inspectors find pests or diseases
If inspectors find pests or diseases in your consignment, you must have your grain treated by a professional company.
The company you hire must remove pests and diseases from your grain by:
- fumigation - this can only be done in a ship’s hold, unless you contact APHA and agree otherwise
- residual treatment with aluminium phosphide or magnesium phosphide
It’ll take between 10 and 20 days for your grain to be disinfested, depending on temperature. It can be done in a silo on the the dock or as the grain is being moved onto the boat.
The boat can sometimes set sail while the fumigant is taking effect.
If you’re exporting grain to Cuba, your consignment must be free from the following diseases - and you should tell the trade inspector to test for them:
- Trogoderma granarium everts
- Trogoderma ssp
- Tenebrio molitor L
- Tenebrio obscurus F
- Tribolium madens charp
- Triborium destructor uuytten
- Tribolium audax Halst
- Ptinus fur L
- Pitinus velliger F
- Niptus hololecus falderm
- Porthetria dispar L
- Ephestia kuehniella Zell
- Pyralis farinalis L
If you’re exporting grain to Cuba, your consignment must be free from Caulophilus latinasus or C.oryzae gyllen.
For phytosanitary certificates
You must pay £59.53 to get phytosanitary certificates for consignments of grain.
Services for consignments of grain
You must pay £59.53 for a trade inspector to inspect your grain.
For sample testing
You’ll have to pay £59.53 to APHA, if the country you’re exporting to demands that you get samples tested there.
Reduced fees for small exporters
You only have to pay half the usual fee for the first £250 of APHA services in a financial year if you meet either of the following conditions:
- you’re not registered for VAT
- your certified exports or sales for certified export were worth less than £5,000 in the previous financial year
If you register for VAT at any point in the financial year, you must contact APHA to tell them you’ll no longer be eligible for the concession.
If you’re eligible for the discount because the value of your exports was less than £5,000 in the previous financial year, you must tell the APHA if you expect your exports to amount to more than this by the end of the current financial year. Your discount will then last until 1 April, the first day of the new financial year.