Guidance

Importing seed potatoes, trees and plants to England and Wales from the EU

Find out the restrictions on bringing certain plants and trees into England and Wales from the EU and how you must notify these imports.

Trees and plants

You must follow this guide if you’re bringing certain types of trees, including potted plants and seeds, into England and Wales from the EU and Switzerland.

All the plants listed must have a plant passport for trading in the EU as part of the plant health controls.

The notification requirements in this guide are in addition to the plant passport scheme.

You must tell the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) if you’re bringing the following trees, plants and seeds into England and Wales:

Name Pest / disease of concern
Plane Plane Wilt
Oak Oak Processionary Moth
Sweet Chestnut Chestnut Blight and Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp
Pine Red Band Needle Blight and Pine Processionary Moth
Ash Ash Dieback
Elm Elm Phloem necrosis mycoplasma (also called Elm Yellows Phytoplasma)
Prunus Bacterial Shot Hole of Laurel and Xylella fastidiosa
Common Olive (from 26 November 2018) Xylella fastidiosa

You are breaking the law if you fail to notify APHA of these imports and you may be prosecuted. Your goods may be returned to the country where they came from or destroyed.

You also risk infecting plants and trees with pests and diseases which are present in parts of the EU.

EU Plant and Tree Notification System

You can use the online edomero system to tell APHA the planned destination in England and Wales you’re importing plants and trees. You should do this before or within 5 days of the arrival of your consignment.

You only need to notify APHA about the first import of each consignment of plant or tree material into England and Wales, and not material which has moved further through the supply chain.

If you’re sourcing and receiving deliveries from the EU directly to a planting site, you should notify APHA and tell them the address of the site.

Follow the instructions on how to complete an import notification using edomero (PDF, 624KB, 9 pages).

Contact your local Plant Health & Seeds Inspectorate Office if you have any questions about using the system.

Tree and plant inspections

If your consignment is inspected, this doesn’t mean that there is a pest or disease issue. Inspections are for routine pest and disease surveillance.

You won’t be charged if your consignment is inspected.

You may be asked for a second location if you’re moving your consignment from its original destination within a few days after they’re imported. Your PHO will arrange an inspection at the consignment’s final destination or planting site.

The inspector will record the planting site because follow-up inspections may be needed the following year. Follow-up inspections check for disease that can be hidden or is difficult to identify on dormant tree and plant material.

Seed potatoes

A minimum of 2 days’ (48 hours) written pre-notification is required for all seed potatoes being imported into England and Wales that have been grown, or are suspected to have been grown, in another member state or Switzerland.

The written notification must contain the following information:

  • time, date and means of introduction
  • point of entry
  • final destination
  • intended use (for example ware production, trial seed or seed production)
  • variety
  • quantity (in tonnes)
  • producer’s identification number (grower number as it appears on the label)

Also include the following information as it helps us administer the notifications scheme:

  • certified grade (for example PB, S, SE, E, A or B)

Late notification (classed as less than 48 hours’ notice) may result in statutory action including holding the consignment, with planting prohibited, until testing is complete.

Persistent late notification, incorrect notification details or non-notification will result in statutory action with either the seed potatoes being returned to their country of origin or the whole consignment destroyed.

For advice on how to notify online, email us at eupotatonotifications@apha.gsi.gov.uk where further information and guidance can be provided directly to you.

Imports from outside the EU

Read the guidance on importing plants, fruit, vegetables or plant material to the UK if you’re importing trees, plants and seeds from outside the EU.

Report plant pests and diseases

See the UK Plant Health Risk Register for further information and factsheets on the pests and diseases of concern and many others.

See the protecting plant health: topical issues guidance for further information on Xylella fastidiosa.

Find out about tree pests and diseases in the UK.

If you suspect you have found any of these pests or diseases, you must contact APHA.

See the guidance on plant health controls.

Find out how to import and export plants, including trees, from 1 January 2021.

Published 14 August 2015
Last updated 12 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Information added regarding seed potatoes.

  2. Guidance added for bringing certain types of tress, including potted plants and seeds, into England and Wales from the EU and Switzerland.

  3. Text changes due to prunus being added to the EU Plant and Tree Notification Scheme on the 24 February 2016.

  4. First published.