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Do you import plants or plant-based products from outside the EU into the Netherlands? Then the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA) will check the phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin and the identity of a shipment.
This phytosanitary inspection (in Dutch) ensures the shipment does not contain harmful organisms. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority checks there is a phytosanitary certificate and takes samples.
Location of inspections
This inspection usually takes place at the EU border. Inspections can be carried out at a different location, however, the NVWA must first approve of alternative inspection locations (in Dutch). This might be your company's premises. If so, you or a person or company authorised by you then becomes the operator of an inspection site.
Phytosanitary transport document
Once the shipment has been approved for release within EU borders, it receives a P2 code. With this code the shipment can pass customs. You will also receive a European phytosanitary transport document (model 99, in Dutch). If you want to transport the shipment to other European countries, you will also require a plant passport.
Pre-registration for plant exports via e-CertNL
If you pre-register export shipments electronically using e-CertNL (formerly Client Export), you will electronically receive permission to transit your shipment. You then no longer require a phytosanitary transport document (model 99). In order to login in eCertNL (in Dutch), you will need to apply for eHerkenning (the Dutch electronic authentication and authorisation system) from a recognised eHerkenning provider.
Import of plants with attached growing medium
The requirements have changed to include the import of plants with attached growing medium, such as soil, peat, coco peat and perlite.
EU rules on plant health and control
Under the European plant health and control rules that have come into force on 14 December 2019, all plants and living parts of plants must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to enter into the EU. The only plants exempt from this regulation are the fruits: pineapples, coconuts, durians, bananas and dates. High-risk plants will be banned from entering the EU until a full risk assessment has been carried out.
Exporting plants to the UK after Brexit
The UK has left the EU and is now considered a third country. If you export to or import plants from the UK you need a phytosanitary export certificate (in Dutch). The UK has further conditions for importing certain plants into their borders.