How to approach new plant health legislation

How to approach new plant health legislation

BLOG · BY HEAD OF TECHNICAL AND TRADE NICK BOULTON · 5 FEBRUARY

Since the UK exit from the EU on 1 January, specific UK Plant Health legislation has had to be put in place, covering not only the EU but also imports from outside of the EU.

Unfortunately, this legislation is very complicated for traders to interpret because rather than entirely new legislation it is structured as a series of amendments to the existing EU legislation, plus several new requirements for imports from the EU (more information on EU imports here )

TTF would advise members to familiarise themselves with the elements of the new legislation which will impact their specific trading activities. Probably the most critical aspect will be ensuring that import Phytosanitary Certificates contain the correct references to reflect the Phytosanitary measures which have been undertaken on the wood before export.

The full new UK plant health legislation can be found via this link but be warned it runs into many hundreds of pages and so we have done our best to identify the salient points for timber traders in the paragraphs below.

The Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

This new UK legislation amends the EU regulation – EU 2019/2072 and so on official documents such as phytosanitary certificates where this EU reference appears it should be replaced with the title above.

For timber traders, the most important part of this legislation will be the new UK Annex 7 which contains the detailed phytosanitary measures.

In practical terms many of the measures remain the same as the EU Annex 7, but the list has been amended and so the clause numbers that need to be referenced on phytosanitary certificates will be different from those identified previously in the EU legislation.

We are assured that DEFRA, the UK Government department responsible for international plant health matters have officially informed all national plant health bodies around the world of the new UK legislation and the specific phytosanitary measures which can be applied.

However, TTF members have a responsibility to ensure that for the specific products being purchased the correct phytosanitary measures are applied and the correct UK clause reference appears on the official documentation.

To assist TTF members an extract from the new Annex 7 can be found via the link below, this just includes the clauses for wood and wood products starting at page 93 Clause 109.

UK Annex 7 here

TTF have also produced a draft table (dated 05/02/2021) which shows the relationship between the relevant clauses in the EU Annex 7 and the new UK Annex 7.

This document is for information only and members must check for themselves the specific clause and measures required. We would very much appreciate your views on this document and any amendments you feel are necessary to make this document easier for members to use. Members should look out for future amendments to this table.

EU to UK Annex 7 Phytosanitary Clauses

In addition to the main EU plant health regulation there are some important supplementary regulations which provided derogations or imposed additional requirements that are important to UK timber traders. Some of these are listed below and we would appreciate your views about others which members need to be aware of.

Ash from USA and Canada were previously covered by the derogations set out in (EU) 2020/918 and (EU) 2020/1002 these have been amended to meet UK needs and the reference in official documentation such as phytosanitary certificates should be given as:

The Plant Health (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 SI No. 1482  followed by Regulation 50 for wood from Canada or Regulation 51 for wood from USA.

However, the phytosanitary measures to meet these derogations remain the same as those required by the EU and can be viewed here:

(EU) 2020/918 For wood from Canada   or   (EU) 2020/1002 for wood from USA

Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir and Hemlock from Canada previously had the opportunity to use a very old derogation negotiated between Canada and the EU which allowed “Grub and Bark” or Heat Treatment certificates to be issued by authorised Mills.

These derogations are currently in question as no specific UK legislation has yet been put in place to amend the EU Directive (Council Directive 77/93/EEC). Members should note that there are ongoing discussions regarding these mill certificates.

Our current understanding is that where phytosanitary certificates cannot be obtained these Canadian mill certificates will continue to be allowed but will be recorded as documentary infringements. This is a temporary measure until alternative legislation can be put in place.

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