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Plants: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 119215, tabled on 23 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the arrangements for importing plants from the EU into Northern Ireland after 1 January 2021.

Answered on

1 December 2020

Defra and DAERA are working together to ensure that both trade and the movement of goods will continue at the end of the Transition Period. Outcomes from this work, including the process by which controls are conducted and their frequency (including the level of physical checks required), are being discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. Discussions are being taken forward in the context of the provision in the Protocol that both parties must use their “best endeavours” to avoid controls at Northern Ireland ports. Defra and DAERA continue to work with industry, traders, representative bodies and local authorities to ensure they are engaged, supported and properly prepared to continue trading from January 2021. This will include the publication of Q&As on the DAERA website that will be updated to reflect ongoing discussions and new arrangements.

EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary law will apply to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol, upholding the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit. This means there will be no change to the import arrangements for plants moving from the EU to Northern Ireland after the end of the Transition Period.