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Food Safety

Trade in plants & plant products from non-EU countries

Phytosanitary certificate

Certain plants, plant products and other objects (listed in Annex XI and XII of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072) entering the EU must have a phytosanitary certificate guaranteeing that they are:

  • properly inspected;
  • free from quarantine pests, within the requirements for regulated non-quarantine pests and practically free from other pests;
  • in line with the plant health requirements of the EU, laid down in Regulation (EU) 2019/2072

The exporting country's national plant protection authorities issue the phytosanitary certificates. Once in the EU, a plant passport may replace the phytosanitary certificate for imported plants, plant products and other objects which are also listed in Annex XIII and XIV of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072.

From 1 January 2021, every import from Great Britain is subject to the same phytosanitary import prohibitions and requirements as other non-EU European countries. For Northern Ireland the existing internal EU requirements remain applicable. Regulation (EU)2019/2072 has been amended by Regulation (EU) 2020/2211 in that perspective.


Exemptions to the above requirements are possible in the following cases provided there is no risk of spreading of harmful organisms:

  • no phytosanitary certificate is required for the import of five fruits: pineapple, banana, coconut, durian and dates (Annex XII Part C of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072)
  • some commodities originating from non-EU countries are prohibited for introduction within the whole EU (Annex VI of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072) or in defined protected zones of the EU (Annex IX of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072)
  • some commodities originating in non-EU countries are provisionally banned from introduction within the whole EU: these are the high risk plants and plant products (Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 - see item “high risk plants”)
  • plants, plant products or other objects for trial or scientific purposes or for work on varietal selections: a letter of authorization needs to be issued, in line with Regulation (EU) 2019/829;
  • plants, plant products or other objects grown, produced or used in the frontier zone between the EU and the non-EU country.
  • plants, plant products and other objects in transit through EU territory; – Regulation (EU) 2019/2124
  • Other exemptions may apply under specific conditions and for a limited time in accordance with existing Decision laid down under Article 15 of Directive 2000/29/EC and new Regulations laid down under Regulation (EU) 2019/2072.

Passengers’ luggage

Legislation on plant health checks

  • Rules for reduced plant health checks at import - Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/2389, as last amended by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/591
  • Requirements for the import of wood packaging material and dunnage – Regulation (EU) 2019/2125
  • Requirements for certain categories of animals and goods exempted from official controls at border control posts, specific controls on passengers’ personal luggage and on small consignments sent to natural persons which are not intended for marketing – Regulation (EU) 2019/2122
  • Requirements on official control at border control posts – Regulation (EU) 2019/2130
  • Requirements on official controls and follow-up measures to be taken for goods exempted from official controls at border control posts – Regulation (EU) 2019/2126
  • The EU has established the conditions for the movement, storage and processing within the EU of citrus fruits originated in non-EU countries destined to industrial processing - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/2374

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Further information