For Deliveries outside of the UK
EXPORTS TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
After Brexit and the UK’s departure from the European Union we regret to have to tell you that sending plants to European countries is now even more difficult and expensive than it was some 20 years ago when phytosanitary certificates to accompany plants sent to Europe were finally abolished.
Sadly the bureaucracy and rules are now even worse in that all plants exported to Europe must first be root washed, then inspected by a UK Plant Health inspector and have a plant passport issued.
The ‘free trade’ agreement negotiated with the EU clearly does not currently apply to plants. It is possible that a derogation of the rules may be negotiated but we hold out little hope of this happening in the foreseeable future.
All this is on top of the much publicised increase in courier costs to Europe and confusion about the applicable rates of VAT in different countries.
Effectively it is just as much hassle and costly to send plants to Tokyo as it is now to Paris or Rome.
Is this the end of our sending plants to EU countries?
Anyone contemplating sending us an export order needs to be fully aware of the likely extra costs:
1. A Plant Health inspector will currently charge us £100 for a 30 minute visit (and £75 for each subsequent 15 minutes). We guess that, say, 10 small orders could be inspected in half an hour.
2. Each individual phytosanitary certificate to accompany each plant order will cost us (and you) £25.00
3. Root washing plants is a time consuming business and expensive. These will have to be passed on to the customer as part of the extra administrative costs which we now face.
4. Courier costs have already increased by up to 25% to European destinations and it may be some time before all couriers will actually accept overseas orders to EU countries
5. If you have a business and an existing VAT number which we can quote on the invoice / plant passport which we raise things will be simpler. If not, different countries have different rules and cost limits as to when European VAT is chargeable and at what rates. UK VAT (at 20%) will be deducted from our invoice to the customer but will end up being paid by you probably on receipt from the courier.
If this has not put you off even considering placing an export order with us we would entirely understand and agree.
Nevertheless, for those still wanting perhaps larger orders, or perhaps of rare plants, we are still happy to try to give you a slightly vague quotation for the costs of your proposed export order. Please, however, be under no delusion whatever that for smaller orders of under, say, £50 or even £100 the add on costs of root washing, inspections, paperwork and couriers are inevitably going to work out as being more than the costs of the plants themselves.
A sad and ridiculous situation but, unfortunately, not one which we can do anything about. Plant imports into the UK do not have to be root washed.