Phytosanitary certificate and other measures against plant pests when trading plants, plant products and other objects with countries outside the EU

When importing and exporting plants, plant products and other objects, plant pests may be carried, which can have serious consequences in the recipient country. In some cases, the consignment must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary certificate. This certificate certifies that the consignment complies with the recipient country’s requirements not to carry with it regulated plant pests. There are certain plants and plant products that may not be brought into the EU.

Notify import in TRACES.NT

Apply for a phytosanitary certificate

These are regulated pests

Plant pests are all kinds of organisms that damage plants, for example, insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses. The plant health legislation regulates two categories of plant pests, which are referred to as quarantine pests and regulated non-quarantine pests.

Quarantine pests are plant pests that are not found in the EU, or only to a limited extent, and which can have unacceptable environmental, economic or social consequences if they are spread. If quarantine pests are detected in Sweden, measures shall be taken with the purpose eradication. The Swedish Board of Agriculture co-ordinates the eradication measures.

Plants for planting can also carry other pests besides quarantine pests. There are rules concerning some of these pests as they could have unacceptable economic consequences if they are carried on plants for planting. These pests are referred to as regulated non-quarantine pests.

Plant pests affect both production of food and feed, forests, parks, gardens and the surrounding landscape, including social and cultural values. All cultivation becomes more expensive and it may be more difficult for plants to survive. It may also have a negative impact on biological diversity. A number of plant pests increase the need for plant protection products and make organic cultivation more difficult, leading to a further deterioration in the chances for biological diversity and a toxic-free environment.

This is a phytosanitary certificate

A phytosanitary certificate is a document issued by the plant protection authority in the export country and which certifies that the consignment complies with the recipient country’s requirements on pest freedom.

Import from countries outside of the EU

Import prohibition for certain plants and plant products

Certain plants and plant products entail such great risks that they are not allowed to be imported at all if they come from certain countries or parts of the world. This applies to many coniferous trees, the grape family, citrus plants, certain fruit and berry plants and most types of grass. There is also an import prohibition on soil and growing media that wholly or partly consist of solid organic substances, except clean peat and clean coconut fibre. There is also a prohibition against import of seed potatoes except from Switzerland and Northern Ireland. It is accordingly currently prohibited to import seed potatoes from England, Scotland and Wales.

These products require a phytosanitary certificate

When importing from outside the EU, a phytosanitary certificate is required for the following plants and plant products:

  • all plants for planting, including all seeds intended for sowing
  • all plants, i.e. fresh fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and other living parts of plants, except fresh fruit of pineapple, banana, dates, durian and coconut
  • grain from wheat, rye and triticale from certain countries
  • tree and bark of certain varieties of tree from certain countries
  • certain used agricultural and forestry machines.

Grain

A phytosanitary certificate is required for grain of the following varieties, from the following places of origin:

Grain that requires a phytosanitary certificate

Type of grain

Place of origin

Secale (the rye genus)

x Triticosecale
(the rye genus)

Triticum (the wheat genus)

Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and USA


Operated agricultural and forestry machines

Machines and vehicles that have been operated in agriculture or forestry may carry with them pests when they are moved. Such machines must therefore be cleaned and have a phytosanitary certificate to be brought into Sweden.

Soil accompanying plants for planting

It is prohibited to bring soil and other growing media in itself from most countries outside the EU. However growing medium that accompanies a plant that has already been planted is not covered by the prohibition. In this case, the plant protection authority in the export country must state in the phytosanitary certificate that the EU’s import requirements are complied with and this also applies to the growing medium.

Exemptions from import bans or the requirement for phytosanitary certificates for scientific and certain other purposes

If you wish to import plants, plant products, soil, growing media or quarantine pests, you can apply for a derogation from the requirement for a phytosanitary certificate or exemptions from the import. You can then obtain an exemption for official testing, scientific or educational purposes, training purposes, experiments, trials, varietal selection or breeding.

In order to obtain an exemption, you must be able to show that you can handle the product you wish to import for your activity in a secure way. This may, for example, concern the appearance of your premises where the material is to be dealt with and how you will destroy the material after completion of experiments.

The activity shall be conducted at a designated containment facility. You should state a facility in your application. If you do not do this, you will automatically apply for your place of operation to be approved as a temporary containment facility.

We may visit the facility to look at the premises and at how routines for the activity are organised before we grant a permit. We may also inspect your activity during the period that it is taking place.

If we grant an exemption, you will receive a document called a letter of authority which you use when importing the material and which should accompany the material to the facility. You will then also receive a permit to process the material at the facility you have stated in the application. The permit is for a set period of time.

When the activity ceases, the material must be destroyed or kept in a secure way if you plan to continue to use the material. In order to be able to continue to process the material, you must make a new application to be allowed to continue the activity. The new application must be made before the earlier application ceases to apply.

You can apply for an exemption in our e-service. The processing time is approximately one month.

E-mail us if you would like more information about exemptions for scientific purposes.
Fee for processing and inspections of exemptions for scientific purposes
  • The basic fee for processing an application is SEK 700. If the processing takes longer than an hour, an additional fee of SEK 690 per hour commenced will be applied
  • Inspection prior to the decision costs SEK 3,000. If the inspection takes more than an hour, another SEK 690 per hour commenced will be charged
  • Inspection of activity costs SEK 3,000. If the inspection takes more than two hours, another SEK 950 per hour commenced will be charged
  • Laboratory analysis connected to inspection of the activity will be charged for at the actual cost of transport and analysis.

Permits to import plant pests

You may need a permit if you intend to import plant pests. You can read in the paragraph above what applies if the import concerns a quarantine pest.

A permit may be required even if the pest is not listed as a quarantine pest. Get in touch with us to find out whether the pest fulfils the criteria for being a quarantine pest. If the pest fulfils the criteria, we will follow the procedure described in the paragraph above. If the pest does not fulfil the criteria for a quarantine pest, no official permit is needed.

E-mail us if you would like to know more about exemptions from the plant health import conditions.

You may also need other permits from the Swedish Board of Agriculture in the event of import of animals, including insects, spiders and other invertebrate animals.

Make sure that a phytosanitary certificate is accompanying the consignment

When you intend to import goods that require a phytosanitary certificate, please contact your supplier. The supplier contacts the Plant Health Authority in the exporting country. They can issue a phytosanitary certificate (PC).

Some countries can issue electronic phytosanitary certificate in TRACES NT. More information about electronic phytosanitary certificate in TRACES NT can be found on the page about e-service.

Notify imports

When you import goods that are to be checked at a border control post, you must notify the import to us.

A pre-notification of the import must be made at the latest at 1pm one business day prior to the arrival of the consignment. If the consignment consists of wood and arrives at one of our border control posts which is only approved for wood, you must notify us at the latest 1 pm five business days before the consignment arrives.

These goods must be notified for plant health checks at a border control post

  • All plants for plantings except seeds intending for sowing.
  • The seeds intended for sowing which are listed in Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 Annex XI part A.
  • Seeds intended for sowing of Castanea spp. from all third countries and of Pinus spp. and Pseudotsuga menziesii from non-European third countries.
  • The plants, i.e. fresh fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and other living and plant products, which are listed in Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 Annex XI part A.
  • The grain subject to requirement of a phytosanitary certificate.
  • Such wood and bark subject to the requirement of a phytosanitary certificate.
  • Such operated agricultural and forestry machinery subject to the requirement of a phytosanitary certificate.

Fruit and vegetables

You must also notify all consignments of fresh fruit and vegetables which are subject to EU marketing standards.

Notify delays

If the consignment is delayed or there is any other change, you must notify us by e-mail at the latest 08.00 am the same day that the consignment was notified to arrive. If you do not notify in time, we will charge you SEK 800 per consignment.

Check of the consignment

After 1 pm every business day, we will decide which consignments are to be physically checked the following business day. If the consignment is selected only for documentary check, you will need to show the original phytosanitary certificate in order for the consignment to be approved. An electronic phytosanitary certificate can replace the paper copy.

The results of the inspection will be registered in TRACES NT. You can log in and see the status of the consignment. Validated means that the consignment is approved. Rejected or partially rejected means that some product has been rejected during the inspection. .

When the import check is finished with approved result, you can submit the customs declaration for the consignment. You should then state the consignment’s reference number which is stated in box 1.2, for example, CHEDPP.SE.2022.0000001.

Fees for import checks at the border control post

The fee amount depends on the type of commodity, the size of the consignment and the frequency of checks for the physical inspection.

The frequency of checks varies depending on the commodity and its origin and depends on the risk is of carrying quarantine pests. The frequency of checks states the lowest share of the consignments that we select for physical inspection. The frequency of documentary checks is always 100 per cent.

The fee for a single consignment is the same regardless of whether we make a physical inspection or a documentary check.

You can see the regulatory framework on the European Commission’s website with a List of commodites with reduced check frequencies.

Fruit and vegetables are usually subject to both plant health checks and quality checks in accordance with the EU marketing standards. The fees for checks are co-ordinated.

If you submit a customs declaration in Sweden, the Swedish Customs will charge the fee for checks. Otherwise, the Swedish Board of Agricultural will invoice the fee.

In the following table, you can see the minimum fee per consignment depending on the frequency of checks for your commodities.

Minimum fees för checks

Frequency of checks

Only plant health checks

Only quality checks

Co-ordinated plant health and quality checks

Higher than 50 %

SEK 1,200

SEK1,000

SEK 1,300

10–50 %

SEK 900

SEK 1,000

SEK 1,000

Lower than 10 %

SEK 400

SEK1,000

SEK 1,000

There are set maximum fees for gain, growing media and wood:

  • SEK 7,000 when the consignment’s frequency of checks exceeds 50 per cent
  • SEK 5,000 when the frequency of checks of the consignment is 10–50 per cent
  • SEK 3,000 when the frequency of checks of the consignment is less than 10 %.

In the following table, you can see the minimum fee per consignment depending on the frequency of checks for your good.

Fees in connection with checks, per kilo

Frequency of checks

Grain, growing media and wood

Fruit and vegetables subject to both plant protection checks and quality checks

Other consignments

Higher than 50 %

SEK 0.03 per kilo

SEK 0.09 per kilo

SEK 0.08 per kilo

10–50 %

SEK 0.02 per kilo

SEK 0.06 per kilo

SEK 0.05 per kilo

Lower than 10 %

SEK 0.01 per kilo

SEK 0.06 per kilo

SEK 0.03 per kilo

There is no maximum fee for consignments of fruit and vegetables and consignments of other goods than the above-mentioned.

Consignments of fruit and vegetables which are only subject to quality check pay SEK 0.06 per kilo for each consignment checked, although at least SEK 1,000.

Fee for follow-up of deficiencies and in the event of additional work

The Swedish Board of Agriculture can carry out additional checks to follow up deficiencies from previous checks, for example, if a consignment is rejected due to a quarantine pest. We charge a fee for the additional checks. The size of the fee depends on whether we need to visit the location or if it is sufficient with a documentary check. You may also need to pay an additional fee if we notice at the ordinary check that further investigation is required or another necessary measure that entails additional work for us.

If we need to make laboratory analyses, a fee is charged consisting of the actual analysis cost and transport of the samples.

Fees for different measures

Measure

Fee

Extra investigation/additional work

SEK 950 for each initiated hour.

Laboratory analyses

The actual cost for analysis and cost of transport of samples..

Checks outside of ordinary working hours

SEK 3,000 in addition to the ordinary fee for checks. If the checks take more than 2 hours, an additional SEK 950 is charged for each initiated hour.

Additional checks which were not originally planned

SEK 3,000 for checks that take at most 2 hours. If the checks take longer, an additional SEK 950 per initiated hour will be charged.

Follow-up measures, not exceed 30 minutes (additional inspection of documents).

SEK 1,250.

Import checks of invasive alien species

The Swedish Board of Agriculture can, when needed, make checks to ensure that a consignment is free of invasive alien species. This is done for imports in connection with plant health checks or inspections according to the EU marketing standards.

You pay SEK 950 for each initiated hour for every checked consignment.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for the rules concerning invasive alien species.

Certain plants and plant products need plant passports when moved within the EU

All plants for planting shall have a plant passport before they are moved between professional operators in Sweden or other EU Member States. Some other plant products also need plant passports.

Export to countries outside the EU

If you intend to export plants or plant products which are regulated in the recipient country’s plant protection legislation, you need a phytosanitary certificate from the country where the consignment leaves the EU.

The phytosanitary certificate is issued by the plant protection organisation in the respective EU Member State. In Sweden, the phytosanitary certificate is issued by the Import and export control unit at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Find out the recipient country’s rules

To enable us to issue a phytosanitary certificate for export, we must know the recipient country’s import requirements. You therefore need to find out the requirements that the recipient country has for the product you are intending to export and then notify us. Contact in the first place the importer in the recipient country who, when necessary, can contact its country’s plant protection authority or the country’s customs authority.

You can find information about official website and other contact details for the recipient country's plant protection authority in the list of official contact points, so-called IPPC Official Contact points.

Phytosanitary certificate is sundhetscertifikat in Swedish and the plant protection authority is called växtskyddsmyndighet.

Export of wood to Morocco

For wood that are to be exported to Morocco, Morocco has, besides heat treatment in accordance with KD56/30 also requirements that the additional declaration in the phytosanitary certificate contain information about the inspection date. This corresponds to our document checks when wood goods come from an approved sawmill included in our control system. We can make the document checks at the earliest on the same date of your application for a phytosanitary certificate is received

Example:

If the application is received on 27 November 2019, and this is the date before the ship leaves the Swedish port, we will check the documents the same day and issue and sign the Phytosanitary certificate the following day. In the additional declaration, we write "Inspected 2019-11-27" and the issuing date of the phytosanitary certificate will be 2019‑11‑28.

The phytosanitary certificate for export of heat-treated sawn wood from a company with a permit to use the KD 56°C/30 min marking

If you are going to apply for a phytosanitary certificate for export of sawn wood that have been heat treated at your own company, you state the company’s unique registration number that certifies that you have a permit from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to mark wood and are thus regularly checked. No additional documentation is required when you apply for a phytosanitary certificate.

If the sawn wood are heat treated at another company which has a permit to use the KD 56°C/30 min marking, documentation is required to show which company that has done the heat treatment. This documentation may, for example, be an invoice or a delivery note. It shall certify that the company that treated the wood goods has a permit for heat treatment and marking with the KD 56°C/30 min marking. The company’s unique registration number shall also be stated.

The phytosanitary certificate for export of sawn wood goods from companies which do NOT have a permit to use the KD 56°C/30 min marking

In order to be able to issue a phytosanitary certificate for export of sawn wood which come from a company that does not have a permit from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to use the KD 56°C/30 min marking, a physical export inspection is required.

In a physical inspection, we ensure that the sawn wood are free from bark and grub holes. However, we cannot certify on the phytosanitary certificate that the wood goods have undergone heat treatment when they come from a company that does not have a permit from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to use the KD 56°C/30 min marking.

Documention that shows where the wood goods come from shall be attached to your application for a phytosantitary certificate.

Export of apple and pear trees to Norway

Apple and pear trees (Malus and Pyrus) are host plants for fireblight (Erwinia amylovora).

The Norwegian authorities have introduced a system to guarantee fireblight-free exports from countries where the disease exists. Fireblight exists in Sweden. Nurseries where the plants are produced must comply with special requirements.

Notify exports in good time

You must notify exports to us as soon as possible in order for us to inspect the nursery and then be able to issue a phytosanitary certificate. Submit your application preferably before the start of the growing season. You pay for the checks and sample analyses. You can notify by e-mail.

Brexit affects the export of plants, plant products and other objects that can spread pests

Trade with plants, plant products and other objects that can spread pests is affected as the United Kingdom has left the EU. However, EU rules apply in trade with Northern Ireland, in accordance with special agreements. England, Scotland and Wales have introduced new rules that started to apply from 1 January 2021.

England, Scotland and Wales require a phytosanitary certificate for what is referred to as high-risk plants in export from Sweden and the rest of the EU. Certain plants, plant products and other objects that can spread pests are listed as high-risk plants.

There is no requirement for a phytosanitary certificate for plants, plant products and other objects that are not listed as high-risk plants.

Certain exotic fruits are exempted from the requirements for a phytosanitary certificate when being exported from the EU to England, Scotland and Wales.

We refer questions about plant protection rules on import to the UK to the British authorities.

Different types of export certificates

There are three different types of certificates that may come into question when the recipient country has requirements that the plants should be certified to be free from pests.

The phytosanitary certificate for export

The phytosanitary certificate för exports is used for plants, plant products and other objects originating in the EU. It is also used for goods originating in other countries but which have been so long in the EU that their health status is no longer the same as in the country of origin. It shall be issued by the last EU Member State that the consignment is in before it is exported to a country outside the EU, for example, from Sweden to Norway.

The phytosanitary certificate for re-export

The phytosanitary certificate for re-export is used for plants, plant products and other objects originating in a country outside the EU but which have been imported here and are to be subsequently re-exported to a country outside the EU again.

It shall be issued by the last EU Member State that the consignment is in before it is exported to a country outside the EU, for example, from Norway to Sweden and then on to China. Sweden then issues a phytosanitary certificate for re-export to China based on the original phytosanitary certificate for export issued by Norway. A pre-requisite for being able to issue a phytosanitary certificate for re-export is that the goods’ plant health status is the same as at the time of import to the EU. Otherwise, a phytosanitary certificate for export is used.

Pre‑export certificate

The pre-export certificate is used for plants, plant products and other objects originating in one EU Member State which are subsequently sent to another EU Member State before being exported from there to a country outside the EU, for example, from Sweden to France and then on to Morocco. We can then issue a pre-export certificate that certifies that cultivations or treatments have been inspected and comply with Morocco’s import requirements. France can subsequently use this as a basis for issuing a phytosanitary certificate for export to Morocco.

How you apply for a certificate

You must apply for a phytosanitary certificate for export, re-export or pre-export certificate at the latest 5 weekdays before the planned export. The application shall at least have the status preliminary (in our e-service) and you must have stated the date for the planned export and information on where and when the consignment is available for inspection. You must always state the botanical name in the application.

In connection with the application, you must notify us of the requirements made by the recipient country on the plants or plant products that you are intending to export. This serves as the basis for the inspection and what the certificate should certify.

In order for us to process your application and issue the certificate, the application needs to have the status definitive.

The certificate is an original document and sent by post to you. It is valid for 2 weeks from the date of issue. If something occurs regarding the shipment which means that the information in the certificate is no longer correct, you must return the certificate and apply for a replacement certificate.

An application for a phytosanitary certificate for re-export shall be submitted at the latest 10 am the weekday before the planned export if the plants or plant products that are to be re-exported have undergone import control within the past two weeks and comply with the recipient country’s import requirements without further inspections or investigation.

Register to be able to use the e-service

To be able to use the e-service, you must first be a registered user. Fill in the registration form, sign it and e-mail it to us.

When we have registered you in the system, you will receive an automatically generated password sent to your registered e-mail address.

Fees for a phytosanitary certificates and pre‑export certificates

The fee for processing an application for a phytosanitary certificate and pre‑export certificates is SEK 350 per certificate.

If the certificate concerns any of the following categories, the fee is instead SEK 250:

  • Frozen fruit, berries and vegetables
  • Cut fruit and vegetables
  • Peat moss and substrate products
  • Starch products

If processing a certificate takes more than an hour, a fee of SEK 950 for each initiated hour will be charged. To reduce the need for a long processing time, it is important that you ensure that your application is complete with the required documentation when you submit it.

We inspect your consignment

In order to be able to issue a phytosanitary certificate for the consignment, we may need to make an inspection of consignment. You must ensure that the consignment is available for inspection, at the latest 3 weekdays before the planned export.

The cost of an inspection that takes at most two hours is SEK 3,000. If the inspection take longer, an additional SEK 950 for each initiated hour will be charged.

Please note when trading

In addition to the rules on a phytosanitary certificate and import prohibition, there may be other things that you need to know when you trade with plants and plant products.

Are you intending to trade with endangered species?

Many animals and plants are threatened by extinction. To protect the endangered species and the biological diversity, the countries of the world have reached agreement on trade restrictions. The agreement is called CITES.

Questions and answers

Which areas in the EU are not treated as being in the EU when it concerns plant health rules?

The Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin are treated in the same way as countries outside the EU when it comes to plant health rules. If you are intending to take plants or plant products from any of these areas, you need accordingly to comply with the rules from countries outside the EU.

From which countries outside the EU do the same plant health rules apply as from an EU Member State?

Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a special agreement with the EU according to which they comply with the same plant health rules as the EU.

The UK has left the EU. However, there is a special agreement that means that Northern Ireland complies with the same plant health rules as the EU. England, Scotland and Wales are therefore not covered by the agreement and are therefore treated like other countries outside the EU.

How is the UK treated as regards the plant health rules?

The UK has left the EU. However, there is a special agreement which means that Northern Ireland complies with the same plant health rules as the EU. England, Scotland and Wales are not covered by the agreement and are thus treated like other countries outside the EU.

How is Norway treated when it comes to plant health rules?

Norway is counted as other countries outside the EU as the plant health area is not included in the EEA agreement.

Contact us if you have any questions

If you have questions, you are welcome to e-mail us.

Questions about import checks:

Questions about exports and issuance of phytosanitary certificates:

Questions about exemptions, the purpose of rules or other overarching issues:

Revision date: 2023-04-12