Phytosanitary inspections

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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 European Union. This means the UK is considered a third country. If you export agricultural goods to or import these from the United Kingdom (in Dutch), you will need to take extra measures as of 1 January 2021. If you export plants (in Dutch), you will need a phytosanitary export certificate. The UK has also drawn up rules for importing animals, animal products and high-risk feed into the country. Also check the Brexit Portal Export pages (in Dutch), the Get ready for Brexit website, Brexit news from the Dutch government and What does Brexit mean for my customs matters? Make sure you take steps to prepare in time.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO