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.
- Imports for trials, research and work on varietal selections - Directive 95/44/EC
- Rules for reduced plant health checks - Regulation EC/1756/2004
- Products recommended for plant health checks at reduced levels
- Identity and plant health checks at a place other than the EU entry point - Directive 2004/103/EC
- Requirements for the import of wood packaging material and dunnage - Directive 2005/15/EC
- Overview of EU rules on wood packaging material