Phytosanitary inspections on import of plants and plant-based products

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you import plants or plant-based products from outside the EU into the Netherlands? Under the European plant health and control rules, all plants and living parts of plants must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to enter into the EU. Only 5 fruits are exempt: 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.

In the Netherlands, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit, 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 NVWA checks for a phytosanitary certificate and takes samples.

The NVWA has a checklist of requirements for a phytosanitary certificate (pdf, in Dutch).

You can request a phytosanitary inspection (in Dutch) through the CLIENT system.

Location of inspections

The phytosanitary inspection usually takes place at the EU border. Do you want the inspections to be carried out at a different location? The NVWA must first approve of alternative inspection locations (in Dutch). This might be your company's premises. You, or a person or company authorised by you, then becomes the operator of the alternative inspection site.

Phytosanitary transport document

Has the shipment been approved for release within EU borders? It will receive a P2 code. With this code, the shipment can pass customs. You will also receive a European phytosanitary transport document (CHED-PP, in Dutch). Do you want to transport the shipment to other countries within the EU? You will also need a plant passport.

Pre-registration for plant exports via e-CertNL

If you pre-register export shipments electronically using e-CertNL, you will electronically receive permission to transit your shipment. You then no longer require a CHED-PP.

In order to login to 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

Specific requirements apply to the import of plants with attached growing medium, such as soil, peat, coco peat and perlite.

Exporting plants outside the EU

If you export plants to countries outside the EU, you need a phytosanitary export certificate.