What is the Northern Ireland Plant Health Label Scheme?
The Northern Ireland Plant Health Label (NIPHL) scheme is a way for growers and traders in Great Britain (GB) (England, Scotland and Wales) to move plants and seeds for planting, used agricultural and forestry machinery, and seed potatoes to Northern Ireland (NI).
Growers and traders must be authorised to issue and/or attach NIPHLs if they want to move plants and seeds for planting, seed potatoes or used agricultural and forestry machinery and vehicles from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Requirements for the Scheme
The aim of the scheme is to allow for the movements of some previously prohibited goods like seed potatoes, but also to remove burdensome costs related to the use of phytosanitary certificates for the movement into NI of plants for planting and other objects. Additional requirements do need to be fulfilled to ensure that NI’s biosecurity status is protected:
- The movement of goods is between an authorised professional operator in Great Britain and a registered professional operator in NI
- Must meet requirements outlined in EU Regulation 2023/1231
- Record keeping
- NIPHL only valid for movement between GB and NI not internally or within NI
- Goods moving to NI under a NIPHL must remain in the UK
Registration and authorisation
Registration and authorisation is a two-step process that is required for any GB-authorised operator intending to use the NIPHL scheme to move goods to NI.
If you are involved in moving plants and other regulated objects professionally in GB, you are already required to be registered with the correct competent authority.
For businesses not currently registered, registration is free and the relevant forms can be accessed at this link: https://submit.forms.service.gov.uk/form/261/register-to-become-a-plant-health-professional-operator/498
The authorisation process for plants for planting (including seeds) as well as used forestry and agricultural machinery and vehicles is different to the seed potato process. This due to the current competent authority responsible for issuing the NIPHL for seed potatoes being the Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS). However, operators will still need to be authorised to attach NIPHL labels to seed potatoes.
For further information, please refer to the Northern Ireland Plant Health Label Scheme Checklist and the ‘Moving plants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland’ section on GOV.UK.