Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS): consultation analysis

This consultation analysis supplements our consultation to scope interest from potential members about joining the Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS). It is a summary of the consultation’s analytic elements.


Following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), exports of plant products such as fruit, vegetables and cut flowers require export certification in the form of a ‘phytosanitary certificate’ (PC) when exporting to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI).

The Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS) is a voluntary trade facilitation scheme developed by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for exports of low-risk fruit, vegetables and cut flowers (low-risk produce) to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI) from England and Wales. It has been in operation in England and Wales since 2021.

The Scottish Government (SG) wanted to seek feedback from Scottish export businesses on their interest in participating in PHEATS. This would allow the SG to assess whether there are benefits in rolling out the voluntary PHEATS scheme in Scotland. Introducing PHEATS would allow Scottish businesses the same opportunities as those in England and Wales when exporting low-risk produce to the EU and NI. Exporters who operate ‘just-in-time’ logistics can export their goods more quickly themselves, by carrying out their own inspections, which frees up valuable time by not having to wait for an official inspection to be undertaken. Additionally, applying for a PC when needed allows exporters to send their goods to customers when they are ready. Collectively, these factors save time, increase export capacity and reduce administrative requirements.

The consultation ran from 23 October 2023 to 15 December 2023 and was hosted on the SG’s Citizen Space.



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