January 2021 - CLOSEDWe are no longer allowed to send trees to the EU. More>
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Brexit and shipping trees to the EU

Update: January 2021

We are sorry to announce that this website is now closed, because as of 1st January 2021 we are no longer able to export UK-grown trees to customers in the EU. This is caused by the following changes in procedures which came into force at the end of the Brexit transition period:

1. The UK government department responsible for plant health (Defra) has told us that as from 1st January 2021 we will require a Phytosanitary Certificate for all plants being exported to customers in the EU. However at the time of writing this certification is not available for all Malus (apples) and Prunus (plums, cherries, and other stone fruit) because Defra has not negotiated a Pest Risk Assessment (PRA) with the EU for these species. There was no problem exporting these species up until 31st December 2020. Defra does not expect to complete the PRA process for "months or years". The only species that we might still be able to sell to customers in the EU from now on would be Pyrus (pears).

2. For plant species which are still eligible for export to the EU, Defra has also told us that it is now introducing the same checks on plant exports to the EU that it currently imposes on plant exports to non-EU countries. These inspections will be carried out for each carton being sent to customers in the EU. At the time of writing Defra has said it will charge £70.65 for each 15 minutes of inspection time, with a minimum fee of £141.52. Bearing in mind that a typical order going to a customer in the EU is around 60 euros, these new charges would require us to make an uncompetitive increase in our prices. Previously Defra carried out site-wide field inspections at the nursery for EU Plant Passport certification - and if the nursery passed then all plants being grown at the site qualified for the EU Plant Passport, which was a much more efficient and affordable procedure.

3. We have also been told by our European courier that they are imposing a new "border fee" of £2.90 per consignment from Great Britain to the EU.

All the above changes also apply to exports of plants to customers in Northern Ireland (which is still part of the UK).

In summary, the combination of additional costs and additional bureaucracy which came into force on 1st January 2021 prevents us from continuing to sell our trees to customers in the EU. Although the UK was always and will remain our main market, sales to the EU had risen steadily over the last 3-4 years, to the point where 1 in every 12 trees we sold was going to customers in the EU.  Rest assured we have not given up on selling English trees to customers in the EU. We are currently liaising with the UK Department for International Trade to find ways to re-launch our European business. It may take time, but we'll be back.

 

Update: 21st March 2020

The spring shipping season is now closed, but you can order for delivery in December 2020. As things currently stand we expect this to be our final delivery period, since the UK authorities do not want to let us send trees to EU customers after 2020. 

 

Update: 6th February 2020

The UK left the EU with a deal at the end of January 2020. We have been told by the UK authorities that we can continue to send trees to customers in the EU for the rest of this winter. Deliveries will finish at the end of the bare-root season (probably towards the end of February).

We will also be able to accept orders over the spring and summer for delivery in December 2020, i.e. within the "transition period".

We are still trying to reach a longer term agreement with the UK authorities to allow us to continue to export trees to the EU from 2021 onwards. However Defra (the UK government department responsible for phytosanitary controls) has told us they wish to impose extra charges for inspections in January 2021, and these charges may be many times greater than the value of the trees. If that is the case then we will be forced to discontine sales to EU customers.

 

Update: 16th December 2019

We expect to able to continue to ship trees to EU customers in January 2020, but once the UK leaves the EU at the end of January the UK authorities will enforce new phytosanitary inspection costs which will have the effect of preventing us from exporting trees. We have raised our concerns with our Member of Parliament, and are hoping that in the longer term the situation may improve. However for now we assume we will have to halt shipments after January 2020. We would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience.

 

Update: 28th October 2019

The UK government has asked the EU for a 3-month extension of its membership, and the EU has accepted the request. This means we now hope to be able to send trees to EU customers in December and possibly early January.

If you have already placed an order with us we will contact you soon to let you know if we can send your trees.  If you are a new customer, please order now.

The position remains that the UK authorities will prevent us from sending trees to customers in the EU after the UK leaves the EU, which is likely to be in February 2020.

 

Update: 23rd August  2019

The new UK government has stated it intends to leave the EU, without a deal if necessary, at the end of October. If there is no deal between the UK and the EU there is little prospect of us being able to send fruit trees to EU customers this autumn.

Nevertheless we will continue to allow customers to place orders, but we will not be able to reserve stock to fulfill these orders. In the (unlikely) event that the Brexit situation improves and we are able to send trees, it will be on the basis of stock levels in November / December.

 

Statement: May 2019

We have been able to ship trees from the UK to customers in Europe for many years because our trees have the EU 'plant passport' phytosanitary certification. However the UK authorities have told us that when the UK leaves the EU ('Brexit') we will no longer be in the plant passport scheme. This means we will have to stop sending trees to the EU.

At the time of writing (May 2019) the UK is still a full member of the EU, and the political situation in the UK is unstable, so we have decided to continue to accept pre-orders. However if, as expected, the UK leaves the EU in October, we would not be able to fulfil these orders.

We will not ask for payment for pre-orders until we are confident that we can send the trees.

We will keep this page updated with further developments as we hear them.

We would like to apologise to our EU customers for the inconvenience.