1. In order to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and diseases most countries require that consignments of plants and plant products must meet certain plant health standards before they are allowed entry. These standards are set by the relevant authorities in each country and vary from country to country. As the National Plant Protection Organisation ( NPPO) for Scotland, the Scottish Government has obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention ( IPPC) to prevent the movement of plant pests and diseases across international boundaries.
2. Most countries outside the EU require that consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary (plant health) certificate issued by the NPPO in the exporting country. A phytosanitary certificate provides importing countries with an assurance that consignments meet their plant health standards. Consignments without this certificate are likely to be rejected at the point of entry, i.e. destroyed or returned to the exporting country.
3. In most cases, depending on the requirement of the importing country, phytosanitary certificates can only be issued following satisfactory official inspection of the material for export. In Scotland, these inspections are carried out by the Scottish Government Inspectors who are also responsible for issuing certificates. In some circumstances it may also be necessary for a sample from the consignment to be examined by the official laboratory, which is SASA (Scientific Advice for Scottish Agriculture).
4. The Plant Health (Export Certification) (Scotland) Order 2004, as amended, currently prescribe fees for the issue of phytosanitary certificates and charges for pre-export inspections, to fulfil our obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention 1997. The fees can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi?title=export%20certification