Guidance

Importing 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.

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.

Some plants 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:

  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Elm
  • Sweet Chestnut
  • Plane
  • Ash (currently prohibited)
  • Prunus (e.g cherry, peach, plum, laurel)

Following a consultation with stakeholders, the genus prunus has been added to the EU Plant and Tree Notification Scheme. This comes into effect on 24 February 2016.

Protected zone requirements for EU plants and trees

Name Pest / disease of concern Requirements
Plane Plane Wilt Only from a recognised pest free area or a recognised protected zone, with a plant passport
Oak Oak Processionary Moth Plant passport
Oak Chestnut Blight Either from a recognised pest free area or from a place of production inspected and found free of the disease, with a plant passport
Sweet Chestnut Chestnut Blight and Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp Only from a country free from disease, a recognised pest free area, or a recognised protected zone, with a plant passport
Pine Red Band Needle Blight Plant passport
Pine Pine Processionary Moth Proposals for protected zone status but currently for monitoring only
Ash Ash Dieback Only from a recognised pest free area with a plant passport
Elm Elm Phloem necrosis mycoplasma (also called Elm Yellows Phytoplasma) None – for monitoring only
Prunus Bacterial Shot Hole of Laurel Plant passport - a proposal for UK protected zone status has been submitted to the EU
Prunus Xylella fastidiosa Plant passport

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.

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.

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.

Published 14 August 2015
Last updated 22 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Text changes due to prunus being added to the EU Plant and Tree Notification Scheme on the 24 February 2016.
  2. First published.