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Trade in plants & plant products from non-EU countries

Certain plants, plant products and other objects (listed in Part B, Annex V - Directive 2000/29/EC) entering the EU must have a phytosanitary certificate guaranteeing that they are:

  • properly inspected;
  • free from quarantine harmful organisms and practically free from other harmful organisms;
  • in line with the plant health regulations of the importing country.

The exporting country's national plant protection authorities issue the 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 Part A of Annex V.


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

  • plants, plant products and other objects passing through EU territory;
  • small quantities of plants, plant products, foodstuffs or animal feed that their owner or recipient will use for non-industrial, non-commercial purposes or consume during transport;
  • plants, plant products or other objects for trial or scientific purposes or for work on varietal selections;
  • plants, plant products or other objects grown, produced or used in the frontier zone between the EU and the non-EU country.

Other exemptions may apply under specific conditions and for a limited time in accordance with Article 15 of Directive 2000/29/EC.

EU requirements on phytosanitary certificatespdf(252 kB)