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If you import plants or plant-based products from outside the EU into the Netherlands, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA) checks the phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin and the identity of a shipment.
This phytosanitary inspection (in Dutch) ensures the shipment is not harbouring harmful organisms. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority checks there is a phytosanitary certificate and takes samples.
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.
P2 Code / Phytosanitary transport document (model 99)
Once the shipment has been approved for release within EU borders, it is either given a P2 code, which is entered into the electronic declaration system of the customs and excise authorities or written preregistered shipments are given a European phytosanitary transport document (model 99, in Dutch). If the shipment is then to be transported to other European countries, it 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.
New EU rules on plant health and control
Under the new 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.